Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer that makes smartphones for the likes of Apple and Samsung, is considering setting up a $7 billion U.S.-based plant, company CEO and Chairman Terry Gou told reporters Sunday.
The announcement follows President Donald Trump’s “America First” pledge in his inauguration speech on Friday. Gou responded to the speech by warning about the rise of protectionism.
Gou said that the move was being actively considered after his meeting with the head of Japan’s SoftBank Group, Masayoshi Son, who is also a partner for Foxconn. Son met Trump in December and pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S.
The U.S. currently has no smartphone panel making industry. An investment from Foxconn, if it comes to fruition, could possibly create 30,000-50,000 jobs, according to Gou.
While Gou has spoken about setting up U.S. based manufacturing, he stopped short of providing a confirmation for the same.
“There is such a plan, but it is not a promise. It is a wish,” he said.
This is not the first time that the company has given indications of setting up a manufacturing unit in the U.S. It also did so in an official statement to International Business Times in December.
“We can confirm that we are in preliminary discussions regarding a potential investment that would represent an expansion of our current US operations. While the scope of the potential investment has not been determined, we will announce the details of any plans following the completion of direct discussions between our leadership and the relevant US officials. Those plans would be made based on mutually-agreed terms,” the company said in the statement.
However, it remains to be seen how smartphone manufacturers cope with the Trump administration’s “America First” vision. Manufacturers have so far been producing their goods outside the U.S. because of the high cost of manufacturing and regulatory issues within the country.