Samsung plans new US plant, will hire 1,000 staff

NEW YORK • Samsung plans to invest US$380 million (S$524 million) and hire nearly 1,000 workers for a new plant in South Carolina, it announced on Wednesday.

Samsung Electronics America described it as a "state of the art" facility that, starting next year, will build premium home products such as washing machines and be staffed with craftsmen, engineers and operators.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is leading President Donald Trump's "America First" manufacturing and trade strategy, applauded the announcement and appeared at a signing ceremony with South Carolina officials.

He said the investment was "a direct reflection of the fact that America is becoming an even stronger destination for global businesses looking to grow".

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Samsung said the facility will ultimately be "serving as the US hub for home appliance manufacturing across the business unit".

"For nearly 40 years, Samsung has steadily expanded our operations in the United States," said Mr Tim Baxter, chief executive of Samsung Electronics America.

"With this investment, Samsung is reaffirming its commitment to expanding its US operations and deepening our connection to the American consumers, engineers and innovators who are driving global trends in consumer electronics."

Samsung alluded to incentives granted by the state government as a factor for the project, which upgrades a plant formerly owned by machinery manufacturer Caterpillar. The South Carolina commerce department said it approved job development credits for the project by the company.

The facility will receive US$2.75 million in incentives from Santee Cooper, a state-owned electric utility, the Post & Courier newspaper reported. A Samsung spokesman declined to comment on the incentive package.

On its website, the South Korean company said the investment decision was driven by the high-skilled workforce in South Carolina, the state's record in attracting and retaining other global businesses, "strong local government leadership", and strong highway and port facilities.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2017, with the headline 'Samsung plans new US plant, will hire 1,000 staff'. Print Edition | Subscribe