Trump, Foxconn Poised for Busy Day, as President Continues Harley-Davidson Criticism

Jun 27, 2018

President Donald Trump will be in southeastern Wisconsin for much of the day Thursday. He will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for Foxconn's LCD screen factory in Mount Pleasant, and is expected to appear at a fundraiser at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

The shovels are ready for Foxconn's Racine County groundbreaking.
Credit Maayan Silver

Trump is taking part in the Foxconn festivities because he takes credit for helping to bring the Taiwanese electronics giant to the United States. Yet while he'll be celebrating the creation of manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin on Thursday, he's at odds with one of the state's oldest and best known companies - Harley-Davidson.

Earlier this week, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker announced that it planned to move some production overseas, in response to tariffs imposed by other countries. The countries imposed the tariffs in response to the tariffs that President Trump put into place earlier this year.

Trump used Twitter to lash out at Harley-Davidson several days in a row. In one message, he said the shift in production would "be the beginning of the end" for the company. In another, he said, "We won't forget and neither will your customers or your now very happy competitors!"

LISTEN: Harley-Davidson and The Impact of Trump's Tariffs in Wisconsin

Trump's fellow Republicans in Wisconsin presumably are hopeful that the one-sided war of words doesn't dampen the celebratory mood at the Foxconn groundbreaking. Gov. Scott Walker brokered the $3 billion incentives package to lure Foxconn to Wisconsin.

As he runs for reelection this fall, Walker is touting the plant -- and the related development that he anticipates -- as a sign of the strong economy in the state. Walker says the project is "transformational" for Wisconsin.

Foxconn has said it will create from 3,000-13,000 jobs, fewer than the number President Trump tweeted -  15,000.

Meanwhile, a number of groups will try to pull attention away from the festivities. Organizations fighting for environmental causes, higher wages for workers, people who own property in the vicinity of the Foxconn plant, and others are planning rallies in Racine County to voice their concerns about the Foxconn project and the state incentives package.

Groups that advocate for immigrant rights are also marching through downtown Milwaukee to the Pfister Hotel, protesting Trump's policies surrounding immigration.

Immigrant rights advocates marching in downtown Milwaukee Thursday morning.
Credit Teran Powell