Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group is in early discussions about setting up an injection molding factory in Pennsylvania, as part of a look at a larger manufacturing presence in the U.S., according to press reports.
The Japanese media outlet Nikkei Asian Review said that Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou told reporters after a company function Jan. 22 that the firm was looking at the investment in molding in Pennsylvania, as part of a $7 billion investment in making display panels.
The display panel investment could be done jointly with Apple, Gou told reporters.
In the comments to reporters two days after President Donald Trump's inauguration speech, Gou warned against protectionism but also said his company had been considering such an investment for years.
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development confirmed in an email that it has had discussions with Foxconn.
“The chairman of Foxconn met with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's Taiwan/China investment office representative earlier in the month and expressed a desire to invest in Pennsylvania, but the meeting did not address specifics on a proposed project as of yet,” DCED said.
“Previously in mid-December 2016, Foxconn contacted the department's office in Taiwan to investigate the programs available for companies interested in locating within the commonwealth,” it said.
Foxconn, which has 1.3 million employees, has an estimated 10,000 injection molding machines in its factories worldwide, where it makes mobile phones and electronics for global brand owners.
Its factories in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, for example, reportedly make 100 million handsets for Apple each year.
Foxconn, which also goes by Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Ltd., is based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. It claims to be the largest exporter in Greater China.
It was widely reported immediately after the Jan. 22 meeting by Reuters and others that Gou disclosed the $7 billion investment in panel displays, and that Pennsylvania could be a priority.
The Nikkei Asian Review said that Pennsylvania state officials attended the Jan. 22 meeting, which was described as a year-end party in Taipei. Chinese New Year was Jan. 28.