President said Foxconn chairman told him the number privately; Foxconn declined to comment on ‘off-the-record’ remarks.
August 2, 2017
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou is considering tripling his U.S. investment budget to $30 billion, President Donald Trump said while outlining “off-record” remarks made by the billionaire founder of Apple Inc.’s biggest manufacturing partner.
Foxconn Technology Group, the main assembler of the iPhone, unveiled last week plans to build a $10 billion display plant in Wisconsin, hiring as many as 13,000 people for a project Trump touted as a victory for his “America First” effort to brings jobs back to the U.S. That was just the beginning, the president told small-business leaders during a gathering at the White House Tuesday.
“They’re going to spend $10 billion. But he is one of the great businessmen of our time,” Trump said. “And I think the number is going to be $30 billion.”
“He told me off the record he thinks he may go $30 billion. Think of this. He may go 30-billion-dollar investment, but he told me that off the record so I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone,” he said to laughs from the audience.
It’s unclear whether Trump was referring to Gou’s plans for the display plant, for the country in general, or if it encompassed investments in other types of manufacturing. Trump told the Wall Street Journal last month that Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook had promised to build three “big” plants in the country, also without any details.
The Taiwanese founder of the world’s largest contract manufacturer has of late been talking about plans to invest billions around the world, including $5 billion in India, according to Livemint. Gou said in June that Foxconn’s U.S. investment may eventually exceed $10 billion. Trump also didn’t go into specifics, and a Foxconn spokesman declined to comment.
The U.S. President and his administration have been called out publicly by various media outlets in the past for making erroneous statements, from the size of his inauguration audience to immigration statistics.
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