Samsung Electronics Company is considering opening a new facility for its home appliance products in the U.S., with the possibility of allocating some manufacturing from Mexico. The company's decision arrives amid pressure from President Donald Trump for companies to make more products in the U.S.
On March 8, the South Korea-based company announced it was planning to build a new plant in the U.S. to manufacture home appliances, making a capital investment of roughly $300 million, Reuters reports.
A Samsung spokesman disclosed the company began reviewing its manufacturing investments in the early fall of 2016. Talks of building a plant in the U.S. had been reported on as early as February 2016.
At least five states are vying to host the new facility, which will likely create 500 jobs. The company has not disclosed whether the new facility means it will move some of its manufacturing from Mexico.
While Samsung has not stated whether its decision was influenced by Trump's proposed policies, the announcement arrives after vocal pressure from the president for companies to move manufacturing stateside or face an import tax.
On Feb. 28, Trump asserted during his first address before a joint session of Congress that the economic focus of his administration would be to increase domestic manufacturing.
"Hire American, buy American," Trump said, according to Fox Business.
The president's stance on manufacturing and his public criticism on social media toward companies that outsource appears to have had made an impression on manufacturers, particularly the automobile industry.
"Pretty much everybody is dreading being the subject of a tweet," Kristin Dziczek of the Center for Automotive Research told The Guardian. "Getting hauled out into the court of public opinion with virtually no warning is not something anybody wants to get engaged with."
The president has called for slapping stiff tariffs on products brought to the U.S. from trading partners such as China and Mexico. Republicans in Congress, who have the authority to impose border taxes, have suggested placing a 20 percent tax on all imports, reports The Mercury News.
Professor John Vande Vate of Georgia Tech warns that a border tax would not stimulate job growth but instead just make basic goods more costly and hobble Silicon Valley companies like Apple.
"You and I are going to pay for it," Vate said.
Steven Calabresi, a law professor at Northwestern University, asserts that a border tax would "allow us to cut income taxes ... and get people back into the workplace or get them to work harder."