Center for American Progress Action

CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Broken Promises to Wisconsin Include Hundreds of Dairy Farm Closures and a Foxconn Failure
Press Release

CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Broken Promises to Wisconsin Include Hundreds of Dairy Farm Closures and a Foxconn Failure

Washington, D.C. — Tomorrow, President Donald Trump will travel to Milwaukee to headline an event at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panther Arena. 

In previous trips to the state, Trump promised Wisconsin families that he would work to protect farmers, bring well-paying jobs to Wisconsin, lower the costs of prescription drugs, provide affordable health care, and protect insurance for people with preexisting conditions. 

In reality, President Trump has failed to deliver on his promises to working Wisconsin families. The Trump administration’s retaliatory trade war with China caused Wisconsin to lose 818 dairy farms last year, prompting public health officials to offer suicide prevention resources to farmers. 

In June 2018, President Trump and then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) promised 13,000 new jobs for the state when they announced plans to build a manufacturing plant for the Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn. The $3 billion deal was the largest state incentive ever given to a foreign company, but the plan to build the plant has largely stalled, costing the Wisconsin economy billions. Even if the project is completed, experts say it will be a net drag on the state’s economy. 

Learn more about President Trump’s top broken promises to Wisconsin families here


Promise: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. … [O]ur poorer citizens will get new jobs and higher pay and new hope for their life.” – Donald Trump, October 5, 2016


  • Wisconsin added 136,200 private sector jobs during President Barack Obama’s second term, while 10,600 private sector jobs have been lost under President Trump since January 2019.
  • The Milwaukee metro area has seen its unemployment rate increase from 3.0 percent in June 2019 to 3.6 percent in November 2019—its highest rate in almost three years.
  • Mass layoffs have increased in the Milwaukee metro area since Trump initiated his trade war. In the 24 months leading up to the first Trump-induced trade tariffs, 4,432 people in the Milwaukee metro area were affected by mass layoffs. In the 24 months after the tariffs were instituted, that number had risen to 5,275 people—a 19 percent spike.
  • The Trump administration has taken away safeguards that ensure workers are paid overtime, protect retirees from exploitative financial advisors, and ensure that people pay less at the gas pump. These lost safeguards have meant that Wisconsinites have seen: 


Promise: “We’re going to take care of our dairy farmers in Wisconsin.” – Donald Trump, April 25, 2017


  • In 2019, Wisconsin lost 818 dairy farms, or more than 15 per week.
  • With milk prices dropping to extremely low levels, Wisconsin authorities and dairy cooperatives have initiated programs to combat depression and desperation among state farmers.
  • A 55-cow dairy farm in Wisconsin would receive a one-time payment of $725 from Trump’s farm bailout program but stood to lose between $36,000 and $48,000 in income last year, according to the Wisconsin Farmers Union.
  • Meanwhile, Trump’s tariff relief aid for farmers is enriching multinational corporations such as JBS, a Brazilian company that received more than $62 million in government contracts and bailouts while raking in $273 million in profits in the first quarter of 2019.

Health care

Promise: “I’m asking for your vote so we can replace Obamacare and save health care for every family in Wisconsin and for every family in our country.” – Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, November 1, 2016

Reality: The Trump administration launched an all-out attack on health care by trying to repeal and sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In Wisconsin: 

  • 2.4 million Wisconsinites with preexisting conditions will lose protections under ACA repeal.
  • 153,000 Wisconsinites would lose their health coverage under ACA repeal.
  • The average Wisconsin family would see a $4,600 annual premium increase under ACA repeal.


Promise: “I am going to give a massive tax cut to every worker and small business in this country.” – Donald Trump in West Bend, Wisconsin, August 17, 2016

Reality: Most of the Trump administration’s $2 trillion tax cut goes to corporations and the rich. Many Wisconsin families are getting stuck with the bill.

  • 126,120 Wisconsin families paid more in taxes last year due to the Trump administration’s tax scam.
  • The average annual tax cut for the bottom 80 percent of Wisconsinites was $723. For the wealthiest 1 percent of Wisconsinites, it was $53,430—more than 70 times that amount.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at [email protected] or 202-796-9712.