Samsung to expand in U.S., shift some manufacturing from Mexico: WSJ

A flag bearing the logo of Samsung Electronics is pictured at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

(Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 005930.KS is planning to expand its U.S. production facilities, shifting some manufacturing from Mexico, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company is in early talks to open a new home appliance-making facility in the United States, a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that Samsung began reviewing manufacturing operations “early last fall.” Samsung declined to comment on whether it would move manufacturing from Mexico.

Samsung’s initial capital investment is expected to be about $300 million, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

An executive at Samsung in Mexico, who asked not to be named, said: “Whatever happens in the future is really a decision made by our headquarters, it’s not an internal decision of ours.”

Reuters reported early in February that Samsung may build a U.S. plant for its home appliances business.

The South Korean company’s move comes amid criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump about companies manufacturing abroad for U.S. consumers.

The Trump administration has threatened an import tax, while Trump has attacked some of the world’s biggest companies, prompting some to make promises to invest more in the United States.

Samsung's move follows a similar investment from rival LG Electronics Inc 066570.KS, which said last month it would spend $250 million to build a home appliance factory in the United States.

At least five U.S. states are in talks with Samsung, and the move could generate around 500 jobs, the Journal reported.

Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and Anthony Esposito in Mexico City; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Peter Cooney