President Trump helps break ground for new Foxconn plant

MT. PLEASANT (WKOW) -- President Donald Trump helped Wisconsin leaders turn dirt at the groundbreaking of the new Foxconn plant that will be built in Racine County on Thursday, marking a monumental moment that Mr. Trump said would have never happened had he not been elected. 

A giant tent was erected in the middle of a dirt field where Wisconsin lawmakers, Foxconn executives and others awaited President Trump's arrival. About 100 yards away, a large American flag was draped, being held up by two excavators that were surrounded by other construction machines. All of the optics were set for a historic ceremony that would kick off a plant being built that's due to bring 13,000 jobs to Wisconsin. 

"It's a great day for Wisconsin," said State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who represents the district in which the Foxconn plant is being built. He and dozens of other state representatives attended the event. 

The ceremony was under high security. Law enforcement could be seen with snipers and binoculars as they scouted from the ground and on top of vehicles. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter could be seen flying circles above. 

Then, President Trump, alongside Governor Scott Walker, Speaker Paul Ryan and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, grabbed five golden shovels and turned dirt. Immediately after, Mr. Trump walked away before stopping and responding to reporters. The entire ceremony lasted only minutes. 

"A lot of jobs! 15,000 jobs," President Trump said. 

But Foxconn executives have only promised the plant will bring 13,000 jobs to southern Wisconsin. 

Former Governor Tommy Thompson, who was at the groundbreaking event, said the difference in numbers doesn't matter. 

"I am quite confident that no matter what the final number is, it'll be more than any other company has ever brought at one time to the state of Wisconsin," Thompson said. 

"Any chance we have to showcase the good things in Wisconsin is good for the state. I'm excited that we now have potentially the largest manufacturing campus in the world, all paying family-supporting wages," said Vos.

But the photo-op and speech the president gave after the ceremony come after Foxconn executives noted things have changed from the original plans for building the plant. 

The facility will not be a Generation 10.5 plant as originally thought. It will first be built as a Generation 6 plant, according to a report by Milwaukee Business News. 

It means the new Foxconn plant will no longer need a glass-making plant on the same property. Instead, glass to make different technological devices will be shipped in, according to the report. 

Although it's one less part of the plant, Speaker Vos doesn't believe it will impact the promised amount of jobs. 

"They're doing the exact same project, they're doing the exact same project. All of the incentives are based on that," Vos told reporters before the ceremony. 

The plant will create LCD screens for various types of devices, including TVs and tablets. But the president also hinted at another thing being made at the plant. 

"They're going to make robotics here. They're doing many other things including full television sets and many other things here," said President Trump.  

The Taiwanese company received the largest incentive package given to a foreign company to bring jobs and a business to the U.S. Federal, state and local governments are giving Foxconn at least a $3.5 billion incentive package. 

President Trump also promised the construction process will bring business to American companies. 

"I'm pleased to report that Foxconn intends to build 100 percent of the factory with beautiful American concrete and beautiful American steel made right here," he said. 

President Trump also praised Governor Scott Walker for helping to bring the company to the state and called Gou a great businessman who is bringing in the $10 billion plant. 

Now, the president is hoping those who live in the area will reap the benefits of having new opportunities in the coming years. 

"America is open for business more than it has ever been open for business," Mr. Trump said. 

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