Re­ports: Sam­sung plans to build fa­cil­ity in U.S.

Tech giant re­port­edly dis­cussing pro­pos­als with at least five states.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - From wire ser­vices

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics plans to ex­pand its man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions in the U.S. with a new fa­cil­ity for home ap­pli­ances, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

The South Korea-based tech­nol­ogy giant ex­pects to spend at least $300 mil­lion on the project and is dis­cussing the plans with at least five states, the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported, cit­ing un­named sources.

The shift could in­volve mov­ing some of the pro­duc­tion of oven ranges to the U.S. from Mex­ico and could gen­er­ate about 500 jobs, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per.

“This is a com­plex process that, like all strate­gic busi­ness de­ci­sions, will not be made fi­nal un­til it is deter­mined through proper due dili­gence and plan­ning that it is the best op­tion for Sam­sung,” Sam­sung said in a writ­ten state­ment.

A Sam­sung rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the U.S. wouldn’t com­ment be­yond con­firm­ing the talks and said the com­pany started re­view­ing op­tions in the coun­try early last fall.

The elec­tion of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in­flu­enced Sam­sung’s in­ter­est in a U.S. fac­tory, ac­cord­ing to the sources cited by the Jour­nal.

Trump cam­paigned on a prom­ise of cre­at­ing jobs in the U.S. and bring­ing back man­u­fac­tur­ing, and has threat­ened to im­pose stiff tar­iffs on im­ports.

Sam­sung’s de facto chief Jay Y. Lee was the only ex­ec­u­tive from a for­eign com­pany in­vited to a tech in­dus­try meet­ing Trump held in De­cem­ber, the Jour­nal re­ported.

Lee was not present at the meet­ing. He has been em­broiled in a cor­rup­tion scan­dal in South Korea since late last year and was in­dicted in Fe­bru­ary on bribery and em­bez­zle­ment charges.

The U.S. is one of the big­gest mar­kets for Sam­sung, which makes ev­ery­thing from smart­phones to pro­cess­ing chips, re­frig­er­a­tors and tele­vi­sions.

The com­pany also has ma­jor op­er­a­tions in Austin. Sam­sung said in Novem­ber it plans to in­vest more than $1 bil­lion this year in its semi­con­duc­tor fa­cil­i­ties in Austin, bring­ing the to­tal in­vest­ment to $17 bil­lion at the site.

Sam­sung em­ploys about 3,000 peo­ple in Cen­tral Texas.

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