FILE - Wisconsin Scott Walker

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 

Foxconn has already pumped millions of dollars into the Wisconsin economy, and the company hasn't made a single LCD screen yet.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday once again defended the deal he signed to bring Foxconn to Racine County. 

"Just look at Highway KR, which is the Kenosha/Racine border. There's a lot of things humming," Walker told the crowd at a Milwaukee Press Club Event. "Part of the reason why county leaders and municipal leaders in that area wanted the infrastructure upgrades is they wanted to make sure that [Foxconn] didn't just benefit the area closest to I-94. They wanted it to benefit the city, into Kenosha, into Racine, into that whole corridor."

Foxconn is in the middle of building its plant. It already has added new roads and sewers to what used to be a farm field and suburban neighborhood. 

Walker is still having to fight off critics. He signed a deal in 2017 to offer $3 billion in tax credits to Foxconn. 

Walker on Tuesday said it "absolutely is still a good deal for taxpayers."

"You know how much money Foxconn has gotten in tax credits thus far? Zero. Not a penny. Because it's based on performance," Walker said in an answer to a question about the company. "It's based on the capital investment they make and the number of employees. And not just the number, but the number of employees at a minimum salary."

Many media outlets across Wisconsin quickly report on any shortcoming in Foxconn's timetable to have its plant in Mount Pleasant open by the end of next year. 

The former governor said that's expected, but said national reporters are even worse. 

"Not so much here cause you guys get it a little more. But I am amazed any time I am on a national show," Walker said. "One they always say the wrong number. They don't say $3 billion, they start talking $4.5 [billion] which is totally wrong. But I am totally amazed. They think that money has already been given to Foxconn."

Foxconn, for its part, has also had to continue to reassure critics that it does intend to hire 13,000 workers for the Wisconsin plant. 

Not all of those workers will come from Wisconsin though. And that's a tiny problem. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Foxconn founder Terry Gou said that the company is having trouble finding enough workers in southeast Wisconsin. He said many Midwestern college students leave for the coasts after graduation. 

Staff Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.