LANSING, Mich.—Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn’s plan to build a display panel factory in the U.S. has sparked a flurry of lobbying by states vying to land what some economic development officials say is a once-in-a-generation prize.
It’s not just jobs that are up for grabs. Luring Foxconn would signal that the Midwest, known for hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs, can diversify into producing high-tech consumer gadgets assembled in Asia.
The hunt for Foxconn is fluid and largely secretive, with Rust Belt governors declining to even confirm their interest due to non-disclosure agreements.
But Foxconn, the biggest contract assembler of smartphones and other devices for Apple and other brands, has listed seven states with which it hopes to work. It’s expected to announce plans for at least three by early August.