January 3, 2018 / 11:06 AM / 10 months ago

Samsung's U.S. washing machine factory to begin operations in Jan: exec

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) plans to begin operating its new washing machine factory in the United States this month, a top executive said on Wednesday, as it awaits a U.S. government decision on curbing imports of washers.

FILE PHOTO: Students walk out of a showroom at the headquarters of Samsung Electronics in Seoul October 28, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

The U.S. International Trade Commision recommended in November tariffs to keep Samsung and its home rival LG Electronics Inc (066570.KS) from flooding the U.S. market with inexpensive washers, a step that would benefit American appliance giant Whirlpool Corp (WHR.N).

Samsung said at the time that any tariffs would raise prices and impair job creation at its $380 million plant in South Carolina, which was announced in June to produce washing machines and other appliances.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make a decision on the recommendation early this year.

When asked about whether the plant will begin operations this month, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Yoon Boo-keun confirmed the plan to reporters on Wednesday. He did not elaborate.

The plant, Samsung’s first U.S. appliances factory in more than three decades, was among a long list of investment pledges by global companies reacting to pressure from Trump to create more U.S. jobs.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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