Taiwanese foundry Foxconn announced Wednesday that it would invest $ 10 billion to set up a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin, USA, primarily for LCD panel production. US White House spokesman to be advertised as a White House senior adviser, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner led the US Innovation Office victory, also known as Trump's "manufacturing return" milestone.
It is true that the Foxconn Wisconsin plant is able to provide 3,000 jobs locally. However, these three thousand jobs are not the jobs of those unemployed cars or steel workers, nor the so-called "return of manufacturing" promised by Trump in the 2016 presidential election. On the contrary, they are an important part of the advanced manufacturing industry, the need for high level of skills, the kind of American workers still still lack of skills.
Although it is too pessimistic to say so, of course, through appropriate skills training, American workers can also be competent. Just as Trump wanted to do it, it would be more wise to invest in advanced manufacturing than to mark "Made in America" on every iPhone. To achieve this goal, we must build the entire supply chain. The entire supply chain also includes a low-demand assembly line, while the wages of American workers are totally unmatched in front of China. In other words, if the iPhone is fully manufactured in the United States, then the OEM price will soar. Foxconn for such OEM manufacturers, even if set up factories in the United States, it will not change the overall pattern of Apple's supply chain. For now, whether the LCD panel from the Wisconsin plant shipments are unknown. Jason Dedrick, a professor at the Institute of Information Studies at Syracuse University, has conducted an in-depth study of the Apple supply chain. "Apple iPhone has thousands of spare parts, and even if Foxconn is an important part of Apple's iPhone, A complete supply chain still takes a long time. "
Of course, by setting up factories in Wisconsin, Foxconn can play an important role in raising labor skills for local labor. According to the 2016 US White House report, the next decade, the United States in the advanced manufacturing sector has 3.5 million jobs demand. The same report also points out that there is a 2 million labor gap due to the skill gap between American workers. This requires the government to increase training efforts, otherwise many advanced manufacturing factories will be in a state of suspension.
Stefanie Lenway, dean of the University of St. Thomas's School of Marketing, is not very optimistic about Foxconn's announcement to the White House. "We need physical engineers, electrical engineers and mechanical engineers," he said. "Lenway emphasizes that LCD panel manufacturing is completely different from traditional manufacturing," he said, "and that's what we need for highly skilled engineers. Environmental cleanliness requirements are very high. She explained that dust would destroy the quality of the product. So most manufacturers will use more robots, only a small amount of employees involved.
Although Apple is Foxconn's main customers, but it did not participate in the day's conference. But Apple has recently begun to promote the cash in the United States manufacturing industry. In May, Apple Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company invested $ 1 billion to set up a fund dedicated to investing in advanced manufacturing in the United States. Its first capital investment to Corning, for the development of glass material.
Lenway believes that, in view of Corning's intellectual property and talent are based on the United States, so Apple's move is more meaningful. "This investment can control the entire knowledge network," she says.
Everything depends on Foxconn to follow the promise to set up factories and hire skilled workers. In 2013, the company promised to set up a factory in Pennsylvania, but did not shape. If the Wisconsin plant is open, the US government will increase the corresponding skills training. Otherwise, the largest investment in the history of Wisconsin, which the White House celebrates today, becomes a waste.