Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturing company best known for its partnership with Apple, has said that it is mulling a $7 billion investment in US manufacturing that could create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs. According to The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou says the company is talking with the state of Pennsylvania among others about getting the land and electricity subsidies it would need to build a factory.
“If US state governments are willing to provide these terms, and we calculate and it is cheaper than shipping from China or Japan, then why wouldn’t Sharp build a factory in the US?” said Gou.
The factory would build flat-panel screens under the Sharp name—Foxconn bought Sharp around this time last year for $5.1 billion. Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu hinted in October of 2016 that US manufacturing could be a possibility for Sharp, and he also indicated that Apple could begin using OLED display panels in future iPhones. Apple currently uses OLED in the Apple Watch and in the new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, but otherwise it hasn’t pushed to adopt the technology as some Android phone manufacturers have.
Gou says that the plans aren’t final and that they could still fall through. He says that the discussion about US manufacturing was intended to be “private and informal” but that it was pushed out into the public when Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son showed off a page with Foxconn’s logo on it after a meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump.