Rpt: Samsung May Build a U.S. Manufacturing Base For Appliances

Industries Reuters

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, July 4, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2016)

Samsung may build a U.S. plant for its home appliances business, a person familiar with the matter said, the latest global firm to consider a response to criticism about imports from new U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Specifics such as the amount the electronics giant might invest and where the new base might be located have yet to be decided, said the person, declining to be identified due to lack of authorization to speak publicly on the matter.

The new U.S. administration has threatened an import tax while President Donald Trump has attacked some of the world's biggest companies for manufacturing abroad for U.S. consumers, stoking much alarm and triggering a rash of promises to invest more in the United States.

Samsung said in an emailed statement that the company continues to "evaluate new investment needs" in the United States but did not comment on specific plans.

The company said in November, prior to Trump's election, it would invest more than $1 billion in its chip plant in Austin, Texas by end-June.

To date, South Korean firms have not been singled out about imports but even so, some have embarked on preemptive moves to ward off criticism. The Hyundai Motor Group said last month it plans to lift U.S. investment by 50 percent to $3.1 billion over five years.

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LG Electronics Inc also announced in January that it will decide on whether to build a manufacturing base in the United States within the first half of the year and warned of risks from the Trump administration's trade policies.

LG is considering Tennessee as a location for a new home appliances and television plant as part of its deliberations, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

"This is something that has been under consideration for years at LG, but the current political situation is simply accelerating that timeline for a decision," the person said,

An LG spokeswoman declined to comment.

 

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)