Japanese giant Sharp is “taking the lead” on a rumored $7 billion display manufacturing plant in the United States which its parent company Foxconn recently highlighted in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Make in America” call. Citing a person with knowledge of the plan, Reuters is reporting that the forthcoming facility may break ground sometime in the first half of 2017.
The decision to build a US plant comes as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to meet President Trump to discuss potential investments that would create as many as 700,000 jobs in US. Abe will visit Trump at his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the weekend, following a meeting on Friday in Washington.
“The investment will be by a Japanese consortium that will also include manufacturing equipment makers,” said a source. A spokesman for Sharp said no decision on building a plant had been made.
Taiwan-based Foxconn did not comment on the report. Foxconn, as you know, is Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer. They bought Sharp in March of last year for a reported $3.6 billion.
The struggling Japanese company will be also setting up a dedicated display production line in Foxconn’s iPhone factory with the goal of ramping up volume production of OLED screens for iPhone 8 by 2018.