SC lawmaker to Pres. Trump: pay Newberry a visit

SC lawmaker to Pres. Trump: pay Newberry a visit
Updated: Dec. 7, 2017 at 8:55 PM EST
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NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Mona Taylor loves waitressing at Ronnie's Buffet and Grill in Newberry.

"I just like meeting people. I like being around people. I've got a lot of good friends here. I've met a lot of people here," she said.

Taylor feels blessed to have worked there for 18 years, and she knows she's blessed in a community full of others who aren't as lucky.

"There's so many people around who don't have jobs. We have people here every day coming to put in applications for a job," Taylor said.

This summer, Taylor and her community got the best news imaginable. Samsung's setting up shop just down the street to the tune of a thousand new jobs.

"The people from Samsung – they could have chosen to go anywhere. They could have went anywhere in the country," said Rep. Rick Martin (R-Newberry).

Samsung chose Newberry. 350 people have already been hired to build washing machines, and that number should reach 500 by the end of December.

But now, there's a problem. Samsung has said its U.S.-based competitor, Whirlpool, has asked the government to slap South Korea-based Samsung with "extreme tariffs," which could put the Newberry jobs in jeopardy.

It's news that makes Martin sick.

"I'm trying to be tactful about this. This is a ploy by a greedy corporation to try to stifle competition," he said. "I'm not going to tolerate this. I will fight to my last gasping breath to try to put a stop to this. We need to try to, as Barney Fife would say, nip this in the bud."

That decision ultimately lies with President Donald Trump. Martin hopes the president will somehow hear his plea. He wants him to pay Newberry's new hope, the growing Samsung plant off I-26, a visit.

"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."

Whirlpool sees things very differently and told WIS in a statement that its complaint "should actually accelerate the proposed investments in South Carolina. . . not slow them down."

The company continued, "We filed this petition to stop Samsung and LG from unlawfully dumping washers in the U.S. that were made overseas. A strong remedy will only create a stronger incentive for both companies to invest in more manufacturing here in America."

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