South Korea’s electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. will open its first U.S home appliance plant in Newberry, South Carolina, a move responding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s verbal threats of high import tariffs and a promise of benefits to companies helping his slogan of “Buy America and Hire America.”
According to a high-level inside source on Thursday (local time in the U.S.), Samsung Electronics has decided to build its first home appliance plant in Newberry, South Carolina, the U.S. and it will make the official announcement on the site selection next week, at the earliest.
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday also reported that Newberry, a city 241 kilometers (150 miles) northwest from the port of Charleston, South Carolina is the most likely choice for the Korean electronics maker’s new home appliance factory site. Samsung Electronics has mulled investing $300 million on building washing machine production facilities and adding additional lines to make other home appliance products like refrigerator and oven.
Its decision comes after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) recently launched a safeguard investigation on washing machines made by Samsung Electronics and another Korean tech giant LG Electronics Inc. to find whether their products hurt the country’s local manufacturers as accused by their U.S. rival Whirlpool Corp. If ITC sides with Whirlpool, the U.S. president can order actions such as import quota or higher duties to protect the local industry as recommended by the trade commission.
Samsung Electronics has planned to roll out the home appliance products manufactured in the U.S. as early as possible by buying existing manufacturing facility instead of building an entirely new plant. And the Korean electronics firm is likely to use a factory site that U.S-based heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. had closed down last year and start full-fledged operation from next year.
As the U.S President Trump has pitched hard to invite foreign companies to open manufacturing plants in the U.S for job creation, Samsung Electronics’ capital investment in the U.S. is expected to help smoothing the Korea-U.S summit talks slated for next week.
Samsung Electronics’ new factory is expected to make nearly 500 jobs in the U.S.
By Hwang In-hyuk and Kim Dong-eun
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