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Foxconn in Wisconsin: Top Trump aide Navarro confident of completion

Bill Glauber and Ricardo Torres Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Published 7:09 PM EDT Sep 17, 2020

The Foxconn Technology facility in Mount Pleasant still has a long way to go before becoming the “eighth wonder of the world” as President Donald Trump vowed during the 2018 groundbreaking.

But the president’s top trade adviser expressed confidence Thursday that the Foxconn project will come to completion with “a more resilient business model.”

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Peter Navarro acknowledged that the “level of effort” had to be scaled back earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are two good pieces of news about Foxconn,” he said. “One is that they quietly are building out their facility and that looks like it has shown up in some of the construction employment data for the state of Wisconsin.”

“Number two, more importantly, they continue to expand their vision for the site, and strategically that’s going to mean a stronger, more resilient business model once they get built out,” he added.

Navarro said the company “has expanded their concept there about what they’re going to do there,” including to “get plugged into the 5G effort” for cellular networks.

Currently, face masks are being assembled at the site and the firm is working with Medtronic on ventilators. According to Foxconn, the company has invested about $750 million in Wisconsin that includes salaries, capital expenditures and other expenses. 

‘Globe’ nearly complete

Those driving on Interstate 94 looking east between Highways 20 and 11 in Racine County can see one of the newest Foxconn buildings being erected, the High-Performance Computing Data Center (HPCDC) Globe. 

Coming in at 100 feet tall, Foxconn announced Thursday it has completed the steel structural construction and workers are installing 642 pieces of glass.  

The globe will house the Network Operations Center where Foxconn employees can “control the computing power” of the company’s technologies such as the industrial 5G network, cloud computing and industrial artificial intelligence.  

Robert Schlaeger, a Foxconn executive, said the HPCDC is a “necessary function of the advanced manufacturing ecosystem” at the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park in Mount Pleasant.  

“Foxconn is following through on its vision to build a data center that can benefit the region and the state through Data Colocation and Software as a Service (SaaS),” Schlaeger said.  

With construction on the Foxconn campus continuing, the days of the Foxconn Opus building that the company leased nearby are numbered.  

The Foxconn Opus building housed hiring events and the Trump celebration in which Foxconn subsidiary businesses were on display. It was also the location where Foxconn employees did some research and development.  

The building was leased to Foxconn and the company is beginning to move more of its operations to buildings completed on the campus. 

Much of the work that was done in the Opus building will be moved to the multipurpose building and the advanced manufacturing building which Foxconn has been granted temporary occupancy, the company said. 

Published 7:09 PM EDT Sep 17, 2020

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