The Foxconn Affair: Donald Trump’s Failure: What’s Left of America First
Donald Trump wanted to make America great again, get the best deals and bring industrial jobs back from Asia. For this purpose, a second “Silicon Valley” was to be created in the Midwest with the help of Taiwan’s Foxconn. But this dream has exploded.
Former US President Donald Trump promised his followers a lot: the best economy in the world, the best jobs in the world, and above all – revitalizing the Midwest.
There, in the so-called “rust belt”, millions of tons of steel were produced once a year. Hundreds of thousands of workers lived a good life thanks to the factories. Today, however, a little bit of steel shine remains. Many factories have been reduced to industrial ruins.
Trump’s “America First” policy should change that. Hoping to save the business, Trump launched a global trade war. Tariffs were imposed on aluminum and steel – lost factory jobs were to be brought back from the Far East.
TV work “The Eighth Wonder of the World”
The vision of the then president: a second “Silicon Valley” in the Midwest. In July 2017, the White House finally announced a deal with Foxconn, the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic devices, with a great deal of noise.
The Taiwanese company, which is known, among other things, to make Apple iPhones, was supposed to build a factory for flat-screen televisions in Wisconsin. Foxconn promised to invest 10 billion US dollars and planned to build a campus of 130,000 square meters. Ultimately, 13,000 new jobs must be created this way.
But the project, dubbed “Wisconsin Valley” and hailed by Trump as “the eighth wonder of the world,” soon stalled. Initially, Foxconn was planned to manufacture the latest flat panel displays in Wisconsin in order to establish the site as a technology center.
From a large project to a small factory
After this plan was scrapped, the group planned to build offerings smaller than previous generations. But this did not happen either. Foxconn President Liu Young-way recently announced that Wisconsin now manufactures servers, medical devices, and communications technology products. Additionally, the electric vehicle industry also has a “promising future” in Wisconsin.
However, it has been clear from last week that the future is not by any means promising. The Wisconsin government and Foxconn have signed a new contract, a new agreement that has nothing to do with Trump’s “Wonder of the World”.
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Foxconn is now planned to invest only $ 672 million. In addition, the new agreement is expected to create only 1,454 new jobs. Only a small plant remained of the largest project planned by a foreign company in the United States.
A shattered dream
So far, there are only three buildings on the site that Trump has opened the foundation stone for the media. Most of the region is deserted, and the second “Silicon Valley” dream has exploded.
The failure in Wisconsin is emblematic of Trump’s “America first” strategy. According to our nonpartisan facts review page Politifact Donald Trump has failed to deliver on more than half of his campaign promises in his four years as president.
Including the ambitious goal of creating more industrial jobs in the USA. The number of industrial jobs rose at the start from 2017 to the beginning of 2019, possibly due to the overall good global economic situation and corporate tax cuts. But then, before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, there was a recession. There can be no talk of an explosion in the “rust belt”.
Costly trade wars
In terms of overall economic growth, Trump was also unable to distinguish himself from his predecessor, Barack Obama. During the Trump era, the US economy grew at a rate of 2.4 percent annually. For comparison: Under Obama the annual growth rate was 2.3%.
Additionally, Trump’s global trade war has failed to reduce the trade deficit. In fact, the shortfall in each of his years in office was greater than it had been during the Obama era.
Trump achieved his biggest success in this area with the newly negotiated agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The previously existing NAFTA deal update now also includes questions about the digital economy and gives the US dairy industry at least access to the Canadian market.
Meanwhile, the trade deal with Europe remains pending – and a Trans-Pacific agreement left Trump immediately in office. Even in the conflict with China, he did not achieve the desired goal. While high tariffs are imposed on goods, they are less likely to benefit consumers.
In the end, it is they who pay the price for the conflict. Because companies like to pass on customs costs to consumers.
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