Martin Defends Free Trade, Asks Trump to Visit Newberry


Source: WISTV

NEWBERRY–State Rep. Rick Martin (Dist. 40–Newberry) has voiced opposition to a recent proposal that would place “extreme tariffs” on Samsung, potentially threatening jobs in Newberry County.

U.S.-based appliance manufacturer Whirlpool has asked the International Trade Commission to impose a 50% tariff on all washing machine imports, a move intended to stifle competition from Samsung, based in South Korea, and other foreign-based companies. The call whether to implement the recommended tariffs will ultimately be left with President Donald Trump, who will have two months to make a final decision.

Samsung said in a statement in November that “any tariff would raise prices, provide fewer product choices and impair job creation at our South Carolina factory.” The Newberry plant has already hired more than 350 employees, with a total of 500 expected by the end of 2017. Samsung looks to expand the plant’s hiring capacity to at least 1,000, thanks in part to a recently-announced partnership with Clemson University and the University of South Carolina. However, Martin says that Samsung’s plans, and hundreds of local jobs, could be at risk should the proposed regulations pass.

In a recent interview with WIS News 10, Martin called the tariff proposals a ruse intended to hinder competition, and he invited Pres. Trump to visit Newberry before making a decision.

“Mr. President, you wanted to bring jobs back to the U.S. This is what Samsung’s doing for us,” Martin said. “They’ve brought jobs to the United States for us.”

To watch the full interview, please visit