NEW YORK (AFP) - Samsung plans to invest US$380 million (S$525.2 million) and hire nearly 1,000 workers for a new plant in South Carolina to manufacture home appliances, the company announced on Wednesday (June 28).
Samsung Electronics America described it as a "state of the art" facility that starting next year will build premium home products, including washing machines, and will 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.
Ross said in a statement the investment was "a direct reflection of the fact that America is becoming an even stronger destination for global businesses looking to grow."
Samsung said ultimately facility in the southern US state will 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 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."
The company alluded to incentives granted by the state government as a factor in the decision to invest in 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 South Korean technology giant.
The facility also will receive US$2.75 million in incentives from Santee Cooper, an electric utility owned by the state, the Post & Courier newspaper reported.
A Samsung spokesperson declined to comment on the incentives 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.
The Samsung spokesperson denied news reports saying the company was moving operations to South Carolina from Mexico.
"We're expanding our footprint in the US to meet the surging demand for our products in that market and to increase the speed with which we can adapt our products to the preferences of American consumers," she said.
"Mexico is an important market for Samsung and our manufacturing operations in the country continue to serve as a major production bases for the company in Latin America."