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Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou signal a contract between Wisconsin and Foxconn to construct a manufacturing facility in Racine County. The occasion was hosted by SC Johnson and its chairman and CEO, Fisk Johnson.
Mike Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Foxconn chair Terry Gou (left) and Gov. Scott Walker present the signed settlement that formally commits Foxconn to constructing a plant in Wisconsin.(Photo: Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

RACINE – Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou signed off Friday on the largest improvement deal in Wisconsin historical past, inking a contract that gives a once-unimaginable stage of state monetary badist for a large manufacturing complicated that backers say will rework the state’s economic system.

Seated in entrance of an array of American and Wisconsin flags in a modern corridor on the historic headquarters of S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., Walker and Gou, head of the $135 billion Taiwanese electronics producer, put their signatures on a deal that guarantees to place an immense liquid crystal show panel manufacturing facility on 1,000 acres just a few miles west, in Mount Pleasant.

In the case of Gou, who wore a white “Wisconn Valley” baseball cap and was given a FOXCONN license plate, it is private: The self-made multi-billionaire is himself guaranteeing to pay as a lot as $500 million if Foxconn reneges on its contractual pledges.

For Walker, it possible will change into a political marker the Republican governor will level to as he embarks on a bid for a 3rd time period.

And for some 300 authorities, enterprise and training figures who watched video shows of Foxconn’s know-how and rose a number of instances in standing ovations, the signing had the air of a celebration.

In the tip, the occasion marked a significant step — however not the ultimate one — in a months-long effort courting to final spring, when Wisconsin started wooing Foxconn.

“Just think about it,” Walker mentioned shortly earlier than sitting down with Gou to signal the contract. “We’re speaking about issues we talked about for years (however) we solely dreamed of: 13,000 good-paying, family-supporting jobs. That’s simply the beginning.

“We’re going to take the world over with regards to high-tech know-how like we will construct … proper right here within the state of Wisconsin,” he mentioned.

It’s a significant wager for Walker. He famously pledged Wisconsin would add 250,000 jobs in his first time period — a objective on which he fell properly brief. And critics of the Foxconn deal consider the state is giving far an excessive amount of to an organization that has did not observe by means of on promised expansions elsewhere.

It’s additionally an enormous wager for Racine County and the Village of Mount Pleasant, which collectively have dedicated to $764 million in native incentives for Foxconn, an settlement that has but to be formally signed.

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