Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said his company is considering a $7 billion investment with Apple in a “highly automated” display production facility inside the U.S., Nikkei Asian Review reports. Gou estimated the proposed facility would create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs — local production could be a better solution for Foxconn than importing screens from China as demand increases. The company is also planning a new molding facility in the U.S., considering Pennsylvania as a possible location if investment details can be worked out with local officials.
Gou said Smart Technologies, a Foxconn-controlled startup based in Canada focused on creating interactive displays, could move south to the U.S. as well, depending on if President Donald Trump’s proposed renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement ends up materializing. Trump’s tough talk on the campaign trail about implementing high tariffs on imports led Gou to conclude that an increase in protectionist policies is “inevitable,” but the businessman is still unsure if Americans will be willing to accept the accompanying rise in prices unless companies like his get concessions on the cost of things like land and electricity to bring in manufacturing. “In the future they may be paying some $500 more for [U.S.] products, but those do not necessarily work better than a $300 phone,” Gou said.