Washington Post: Made by History

In the Washington Post today!

How Gov. Evers can make Foxconn work for Wisconsin

When Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers takes office today, he inherits responsibility for the largest subsidy to a foreign company in American history: up to $4.7 billion has been promised to the Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, manufacturer of Apple iPhones and other electronics, to build an LCD manufacturing plant and related facilities, the company’s first such plant outside Asia.

Since its announcement in July 2017, the Foxconn deal has produced waves of controversy over its potential impact on workers, communities, the environment and the state’s coffers. Many worry that this will be a massive boondoggle that enriches a foreign company without actually benefiting Wisconsin workers or communities. Evers has promised to renegotiate the deal to ensure that Foxconn is a “good corporate citizen” to the state.

To do so he should study the events of a century ago, when the British American Tobacco Company (BAT) made a similar direct investment in China. BAT, one of the world’s first multinational companies, had a bold vision: build operations from the ground up, including new production facilities, distribution hubs and other linked business facilities in China….