November 11, 2012
Foxconn Could Be Coming To America
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports
A manufacturing company best known for its work on Apple's iPad and iPhone, as well as multiple inquiries into working conditions and employee welfare at its plants, is rumored to be heading to the West.
Foxconn Electronics, a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturing company also known for its work on the Kindle Fire and the Microsoft Xbox 360, is reportedly considering opening factories in the US.
Said factories, according to The Telegraph, would produce flatscreen televisions.
CNET's Don Reisinger said the company is currently exploring potential locations, but Detroit and Los Angeles have surfaced as possibilities. Foxconn officials have yet to comment on the reports.
According to Juliette Garside, Telecom Correspondent with The Guardian, rising labor costs in its native market is the primary reason the company is considering expanding into the States.
"The news should cheer Barack Obama, who has promised to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs over the next four years," Garside said. "Foxconn will have to adapt its formula, however, because America does not have armies of workers willing to survive on a few hundred dollars a month and live in dormitories as its Chinese staff do."
The reports come in the wake of Foxconn chairman Terry Guo's recent announcement the firm was establishing a training program in the U.S. for local engineers, Angela Moscaritolo of PC Mag explained.
Under the program, American workers would be shipped off to Taiwanese or Chinese Foxconn factories to participate in the company's design and manufacturing process. Moscaritolo said Guo may partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to create the program, which would help U.S. workers get hands-on manufacturing experience and learn Chinese.
Reisinger said Guo's company had reportedly been negotiating to purchase Sharp assembly plants in Mexico and China. Those plants were "designed to produce LCD televisions," he said.
However, as Garside pointed out, "Foxconn will have to adapt its working conditions to operate in the U.S. market. Worker suicides, industrial accidents and riots have dogged its mainland China plants, which were recently discovered to be employing workers as young as 14."