South Korea’s electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. became latest to yield to new U.S. President Donald Trump’s verbal threats of high import tariffs and promise of benefits to companies helping his slogan of “Buy America and Hire America” with a plan to build its first home appliance factory in the U.S. mainland.
According to a high-level inside source on Sunday, Samsung Electronics has narrowed the shortlist on the candidates for the new factory site for facility investment in the U.S.
The Korean electronics giant ships TVs and washing machines from its plant in Mexico as most manufacturers do for supplies to North America tariff-free under the regional free-trade pact. Trump vowed to redesign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to impose hefty tax on products imported from Mexico. His verbal bullying went not only to U.S. companies like General Motors and Ford but also to foreign names like Toyota. U.S. makes up a third of Samsung Electronics’ exports to North America.
“If it is necessary, it is better to do it earlier than later,” the source said.
The company last month pledged $1 billion to expand its chip making facility in Austin, Texas.
LG Electronics also said it plans to start building its first U.S. home appliance factory in Tennessee in the first half.
By Song Sung-hoon and Kim Dong-eun
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