South Korea-based conglomerate Samsung Electronics Company officially announced its investment of $380 million in South Carolina to build a premium home-appliance manufacturing facility with the hope of generating 954 jobs by 2020, aiming to eventually make this factory its US manufacturing hub. The state has been working on this project for several months and will provide financial incentives to Samsung.
According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Samsung’s investment will have a significant impact on South Carolina’s economic growth and job market. Samsung will revitalize a Caterpillar plant, scheduled to shut down due to a cost-cutting budget by late July this year, hoping to hire some of the 325 unemployed Caterpillar workers. Samsung chose the Newberry site in South Carolina because of its skilled workforce, strong local government leadership and a robust transportation network. The factory is expected to begin manufacturing late this year. Products made in the South Carolina facility will primarily be sold to consumers in the United States, which is Samsung’s fastest growing home appliance market.
With this new investment in South Carolina, the company is continuing to broaden its US operations and leverage its relationship with US markets and technology to boost growth. Samsung also operates a call center in South Carolina, supporting 800 full-time and contracted jobs. Previously, the company paid $8 billion to acquire Harman International, a Connecticut-based automotive technology manufacturer in 2016, part of a $10 billion total investment in the United States.
Governor Henry McMaster stated that both South Carolina and Samsung will benefit from this closer partnership. He further expressed his enthusiasm for Samsung’s South Carolina-made products and the bright future of economic growth and prosperity in the state. South Carolina has a long and successful history of attracting international companies. International firms have established more than 1,200 operations in South Carolina, employing more than 131,900 in the state. The state has received significant investment from Asian companies since the 1980s with the help of its Asia offices in China and Japan.
Xinxin Zhang is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington. She is a graduate student in public policy at the University of Chicago.