States vie for Foxconn display panel factory

By DAVID EGGERT

Associated Press

LANSING — Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn’s plan to build a display panel factory in the U.S. has sparked a flurry of lobbying by states vying to land what some economic development officials say is a once-in-a-generation prize.

It’s not just jobs that are up for grabs — possibly 5,000 alone at the plant and potentially thousands more at other unspecified U.S. operations the company intends to launch. Luring Foxconn to build the country’s first liquid-crystal display factory would signal that the Midwest, which has hemorrhaged manufacturing jobs in recent decades, can diversify into again producing high-tech consumer gadgets often assembled in Asia.

The hunt for Foxconn is fluid and largely secretive, with Rust Belt governors and state officials declining to even confirm their interest due to non-disclosure agreements and Foxconn not elaborating much on why it will expand its U.S. footprint. But Foxconn, the biggest contract assembler of smartphones and other devices for Apple and other brands, has listed seven states with which it hopes to work. It’s expected to announce plans to