Samsung Elec may build U.S. base for home appliances

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd may develop a U.S. base for its home appliances business, the latest global firm to express a response to disapproval about new U.S. President Donald Trump. Details such as the amount of investment from Samsung and the location of the new base have not been disclosed yet. The new U.S. administration has spoken about an import tax while Trump has criticized some of the world’s largest companies for manufacturing abroad for U.S. consumers, fueling uneasiness and causing rash of agreements to invest more in the United States.

“Thank you, @samsung! We would love to have you!” Trump said on Twitter. Samsung did not make a comment about whether it had any particular plan to distribute production services in the US but has already made substantial investments in the country, including the $ 17 billion . “We continue to evaluate new investment needs in the U.S. that can help us best serve our customers,” he said in an email.

South Korean firms have not been excluded so far, but some have boarded on tactical moves to repel disapproval. The Hyundai Motor Group stated last month it plans to lift U.S. investment by 50 percent to $ 3.1 billion over five years. LG Electronics Inc also declared in January that it will decide on whether to develop a manufacturing plant in the United States within the first half of the year and warned of risks from the Trump administration’s trade policies. Bases for manufacturing appliances would not be a financial burden for Samsung or LG, said Jay Yoo, an analyst at Korea Investment. If a border tax was enforced, investing in plants would be crucial if they wanted to stay competitive with rivals such as Whirlpool Corp. that make appliances in the country.

LG is seeing Tennessee as a location for a new home appliances and television plant as part of its discussions, 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.

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