SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — LG Electronics Inc. said Friday Washington’s steps to impose trade barriers against South Korean washers could give adverse impact on U.S. consumers, saying such changes may also result in the delay of its on-going factory construction in Tennessee.
The statement came as the U.S. International Trade Commission determined earlier this month that washers produced by South Korean firms overseas are hurting the domestic industry, hinting that trade barriers can be erected.
U.S. tech manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. is currently demanding that Washington slap 50-percent tariffs on the washers.
In response to the move, LG Electronics said rising sales of its washers in the U.S. is only attributable to the consumers who are opting for the company’s products over others based on performances, saying a safeguard will only damage domestic users and retailers.
“If South Korean companies’ ground in the U.S. is weakened due to the safeguard, it may result in a delay in the operation of the factory currently under construction,” LG Electronics said. “This will hinder the creation of more jobs in the U.S., and have an adverse impact on the local economy.”
In August, the company said it will invest US$250 million to build a washer factory in Tennessee, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 1 million units.
“LG Electronics’ washer factory under construction in Tennessee will bolster the U.S. washer industry. LG Electronics should be considered as a manufacturer within the U.S., and thus a safeguard measure is unnecessary,” the consumer electronics giant said.
Whirlpool, meanwhile, also claimed the potential tariff should be imposed on washers’ parts as well to prevent the South Korean firms from just assembling products in the U.S.