UPDATE : 2018.9.21 FRI 17:10
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LG to build washing machine plant in U.S.

LG Electronics Inc., a major South Korean consumer appliance manufacturer, said Tuesday that it will build a washing machine plant in Tennessee in the latest efforts to boost its market share in the world's largest economy.

LG Electronics plans to break ground on the US$250 million plant within this year under a memorandum of understanding signed with the Tennessee state government.

Dan Song (C), president of LG Electronics home appliances division, shakes hands with a U.S. official during an MOU signing ceremony in Nashville, Tenn. on Feb. 28, 2017. At right is South Korean Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Joo Hyung-hwan. (AP-Yonhap file photo)

The company said the plant -- set to be completed in the first half of 2019 -- will have an annual capacity of more than 1 million units of washing machines.

Tennessee said the 829,000-square-foot facility will initially produce front- and top-load washing machines. Longer term, the 310-acre site offers the potential to expand for production of other home appliances.

Dan Song, president of the LG Home Appliance and Air Solutions Company, said Tennessee is the clear choice for the company's latest major investment in the United States, citing excellent business climate, a quality workforce and central location for distribution to our U.S. customers.

"LG is proud to make further investments in America, to create jobs and to bring state-of-the-art home appliance production technology to the great state of Tennessee," Song said in comments posted on the website of the Tennessee state government.

Rendering of LG Electronics' washing machine plant in U.S. (Courtesy of LG)

South Korea is among the top five countries for foreign investment in Tennessee, with South Korean companies investing nearly $1 billion and employing more than 1,700 Tennesseans, according to the Tennessee state government.

"We are proud to welcome LG to Tennessee and thank the company for creating 600 valuable, new jobs in Clarksville," Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said in comments posted on the government's website.

It marked the first time that a South Korean company has taken steps to build a plant in the U.S. since President Donald Trump took office with a protectionist stance.

LG said it had a 28.9 percent market share in sales in the washing machine market in the U.S. last year. (Yonhap)

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koreapost.com

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