Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Governor Scott Walker toured the state Friday to drum up excitement about Foxconn's $10 billion decision to build a plant in Wisconsin.
"There's a whole lot of people out there scrambling to try and come up with a reason not to like this," Walker said to the crowd. "I can tell you, that's fine, but I think they can go suck lemons. The rest of us are going to cheer and figure out how we get this thing going forward."
During his stop in the Chippewa Valley, Walker talked about the potential 13,000 jobs the electronics giant says it will bring to the Badger state. And those jobs, Walker said, will be high-paying positions with benefits.
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Wisconsin is offering Foxconn $3 billion in incentives, the bulk of which would be paid out in cash, not tax credits. The deal calls for the state to pay up to $200 million a year for 15 years. Foxconn would not get the money until it hits investment and job creation targets, and it could be recovered if the company lays off workers.
On Friday, the Governor said even if the plant is built in southern Wisconsin, the company will be looking for suppliers across the state, including in the Chippewa Valley.
"Part of the reason why manufacturers, big and small alike, come to this state is because of the supply chain here," Walker said. "And, we know that supply chain is not just limited to the county, or proximity of where it's at, they're going to working with folks from across the state."
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The Governor said Foxconn could have a $7 billion economic impact on the state annually. Pending approval from state legislators during a special session next week, Walker said they'll be ready to break ground on the project in 2018 and hope to be up and running by 2020.
On Thursday, Walker was also asked if he had any hesitation joining forces with a company life Foxconn because of their history of employee suicides at factories overseas. The Governor said he's not concerned about that happening here, because of our country's and state's labor laws, as well as the fact that Wisconsin's plant will be a much smaller operation compared to those outside of the U.S.
Walker said state officials have been working toward a deal like this for years.
"Last six years or so, we've had to make some tough choices and some important reforms, but in doing so, we put our state in a position to even be in the game, let alone win it," he said.