Trump doubles down on $30B Foxconn investment claim

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(AP)

President Donald Trump touted Foxconn’s $10 billion deal to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Wisconsin during a press conference on Wednesday, once again hinting the investment could end up being worth triple that amount.

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“Foxconn is going to spend $10 billion in Wisconsin and other places. And I think the $10 billion is going to end up being $30 billion. They make the iPhones for Apple and others and it is a truly incredible company,” Trump said.

On Tuesday, Trump said Foxconn’s founder Terry Gou told him last week that the company’s investment would be closer to $30 billion, in a private, off the record statement. However, the Taiwanese electronics giant has refused to say whether that claim is true.

Foxconn reiterated in a statement Wednesday that the Wisconsin plant "will be the first of a series of facilities we will be building in several states." It did not address Trump's statement about the total investment amount or Trump's claims that Gou told it to him in confidence.

"We have not yet announced our investment plans for other sites," Foxconn said in the statement. "We will provide an update as soon as we have finalized those plans."

Gou previously said that Foxconn was considering locating in seven states before Trump announced last week that a massive liquid crystal display monitors plant would be going to Wisconsin. Other states that Foxconn said it was looking at were Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

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Foxconn is the world's largest contract maker of electronics, with factories across mainland China. It's best known for making iPhones and other Apple devices but its long list of customers includes Sony Corp., Dell Inc. and BlackBerry Ltd.

The new plant in Wisconsin, which is scheduled to open in 2020 with 3,000 employees, will construct liquid crystal display monitors used in televisions and computers. It would bring Foxconn closer to its biggest market and be the first LCD monitor factory located outside of Asia.

The Wisconsin Legislature is considering a $3 billion incentive package that must be passed by the end of September as part of the deal with Foxconn. A public hearing on the proposal was scheduled for Thursday, just six days after a draft of the plan was released and eight days after news of the state's deal with Foxconn broke.

Republicans who control the Legislature are split on how quickly to pass the bill, with state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald saying there are too many unanswered questions about the tax breaks that must be addressed before a vote. Some Democrats and others have questioned whether the incentives are too much, while also raising concerns about the proposed waiving of state environmental permit requirements and other regulations to speed up construction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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