Foxconn eyes US display plant with Apple

Newly inaugurated US President Trump's dreams of a "buy American, hire American" period perhaps took one step closer to reality, and it might have to thank Foxconn for that. The electronics manufacturing company, most popular for assembling Apple's iPhones in China, revealed that it is mulling over establishing a display facility in the US with an investment amounting to $7 billion. It won't be shouldering that alone, however, as Foxconn chair Terry Gou revealed that Apple will be throwing in part of its cash, too.

Such a plant could generate 30,000 to 50,000 local jobs, claims Gou, which is probably music to Trump's ears. The outspoken president has made it already known in no uncertain terms that he wants the Apple iPhone to be made in the US, much to the chagrin of Apple and its suppliers and despite Apple CEO Tim Cook claiming that the American workforce no longer has the expertise to make iPhones themselves.

Foxconn's investment in the US is more a practical move than a political one. It would be more efficient and effective to have displays made in the US than have them shipped from China. At least to meet the growing demand for screens in the country as well as nearby markets. That said, the move might have a tinge of politics as well, as Foxconn may be trying to play up the growing tensions between the US and China to its advantage.

The Taiwanese company, however, has no plans to leave China, echoing Apple's own stance. Foxconn sees China as the biggest market and would be insane to drop that like a hot potato. A solid foot in the US, however, could give it an even bigger bargaining chip and an edge over its rivals.

Gou, however, wonders if Americans will be willing to pay the literal price for such a protectionist market stance. The Foxconn chair predicts that buyers will be paying $500 more for an all-American product where a $300 equivalent would do just as well.

SOURCE: Nikkei