SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. said Tuesday they have set up new logistics facilities in the United States in an apparent move to better cope with U.S. safeguard measures.
Samsung Electronics America has signed a deal with a real-estate firm to lease a 421,000-square-foot facility in Edgefield County, South Carolina, a Samsung official said.
The new facility appears to serve as a hub for warehousing and shipping washing machines being produced in Samsung’s appliance factory in Newberry, about 60 kilometers away from Edgefield County.
The latest move came amid concerns that Samsung’s washing machines could be in short supply after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a set of safeguard measures last week against imported large residential washing machines and solar cells, including those from South Korea.
The measures include a 20 percent tariff on the first 1.2 million units of imported large residential washers and a 50 percent tariff on units exceeding the quota. The below-quota rate goes down to 18 percent and 16 percent in the second and third years, respectively. For units exceeding the quota, the rate goes down to 45 percent and 40 percent.
Samsung and LG — two South Korean manufacturers — exported a combined US$1 billion worth of large residential washing machines to the U.S. in 2016, holding some 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively, of the market led by U.S. rival Whirlpool that accounts for 38 percent of the total.
LG Electronics USA, the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, opened a 410,300-square-foot distribution center in East Windsor Township, located between New York and Philadelphia, in November.
“From this new center, LG will deliver its award-winning refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, washers and dryers to dealers. LG said the new facility will allow LG to be more responsive to its East Coast customers and support the growth of LG home appliances in the region,” East Windsor Township said in a statement posted on its website.
LG Electronics has said it will begin operations at its washing machine plant in Tennessee in the third quarter, several months earlier than previously scheduled, to better deal with the U.S. safeguard measures.
The South Korean tech giant had planned to begin operations at the US$250 million plant in February 2019 that has an annual capacity of more than 1 million units of front-loading and top-loading washing machines.