CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Kim McMillan testified Thursday before the U.S. International Trade Commission in support of LG Electronics Inc., a South Korean manufacturer that recently broke ground on a $250 million appliance plant in Clarksville.
The ITC has begun a rare safeguard investigation prompted by Whirlpool Corp. into alleged harm to U.S. industry done by increasing washing machine imports from Samsung and LG Electronics Inc., according to Law 360, a business and legal news publication.
McMillan told the ITC at the hearing in Washington that LG’s local investment is “good for Clarksville, good for Tennessee, and it is good for America.”
“I am pleased to come here today to highlight the 600 jobs and $250 million investment this plant brings to Clarksville,” Mayor McMillan said. “Yes, this case is about U.S. jobs. But it isn’t about U.S. jobs versus foreign competition. This is all about washing machines that will all be made in the U.S. It’s just a matter of whether they will be made in Tennessee, Ohio or South Carolina.”
Mayor McMillan noted that LG has room to grow on its 310-acre site, and said she hoped this was just the first phase of what will be a growing LG appliance manufacturing complex. Meanwhile, investment and jobs related to the LG plant have already started.
“We are already seeing direct benefits, not to mention the indirect benefits to surrounding businesses like hotels and restaurants,” she said.
Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett and state Sen. Mark Green also testified at the hearing.
Whirlpool says LG and Samsung have moved manufacturing from South Korea and Mexico to China to avoid country-specific duties on large residential washing machines. The two South Korean companies claim Whirlpool is simply seeking protection from competition.
A safeguard investigation does not require a finding of unfair trade practices, Law 360 reports. The ITC must find an increase in imports to be a “substantial cause of serious injury” to a competing domestic industry; if it does, it will report that and recommendations to the President, who has final say over the relief ultimately granted.
Mayor Kim McMillan testified Thursday in support of LG Electronics Inc. before the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.