Confirming last week's reports, Samsung today reached an agreement with the State of South Carolina to open a home appliance manufacturing plant in Newberry County.
The $380M facility will produce Samsung's home appliances and will generate 954 local jobs by 2020. This is the latest in a series of investments expanding Samsung's U.S. holdings and operations.
Samsung began contemplating an expansion of its U.S. production base nearly three years ago and initiated discussions with South Carolina in the fall of 2016. Samsung says it selected the Newberry County site for its "high-skilled workforce, robust supply chain and transportation infrastructure and commitment to public-private partnerships."
When fully operational, the plant will employ workers across a broad range of manufacturing roles, including craftsmen, operators, engineers and other both technical and non-technical positions.
The facility will produce home appliances including washing machines from early next year. Samsung already operates a call center in Greenville, South Carolina, that supports 800 full time and contracted jobs.
The South Korean firm was in talks to build a home appliances plant in the United States amid worries about protectionist policies under U.S. President Donald Trump put pressure on global companies to generate jobs in the country.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) recently launched a safeguard investigation on washing machines made by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, in order to check 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.
Running factories in the U.S. will be more expensive for companies rather than having them in other countries, due to the higher wages of the U.S. personnel. However, the companies may be able to offset that expense through the reduction in distribution costs and import tariffs.
In March home appliances rival LG Electronics also announced a $250 million plan to build a factory in Tennessee.