[THE INVESTOR] Three US states -- South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama -- are reportedly in final talks to attract Samsung Electronics' new appliance plant amid President Donald Trump’s protectionist threats against Korean businesses.
According to DongA Ilbo on March 10, the Korean tech giant is chasing cheaper labor, among other things. More than 10 states competed to host the company’s US$300 million plant, the report added.
Samsung mulls new US plant
LG to build new US plant in Tennessee
Samsung's Dacor considers expansion of LA plant
LG Electronics recently announced its plans to build a new washer plant around the area in Tennessee possibly due to cost issues. Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors operate their production plants in Alabama and Georgia, respectively.
The report said South Carolina is promising the most generous incentives but the state’s tropical weather, including frequent hurricanes, is an issue for Samsung.
Samsung’s plans for a new plant comes as the US government is putting pressure on foreign firms to produce more locally, hinting at raising tariffs on imported goods.
On March 8, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer revealed Samsung’s initial investment could reach US$300 million, a rare announcement considering the Korean firm didn’t confirm the plans yet. On March 9 in Seoul, Samsung’s appliance division Vice President Seo Byung-sam said the company was considering a new plant in the US.
“We are considering building a plant in the US in line with our mid- to long-term strategy,” Seo told reporters. “In terms of global competitiveness, a manufacturing firm’s strategy is to flexibly move its production base.”
He declined to further elaborate, saying the company will make an official announcement if it makes a final decision.
According to industry sources, Samsung is also mulling expansion of the production plant of Dacor, a US luxury appliance brand that the company acquired last year, which is located in Los Angeles.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)