Council urges President to support Samsung

By Andrew Wigger -

NEWBERRY — Newberry County Council has passed a resolution that urges President Donald Trump to reject efforts by Whirlpool and the ITC (United States International Trade Commission) to stifle the production of innovation, competitively-priced residential washing machines by American workers.

The resolution urges Trump to fully support Samsung’s continued creation of American manufacturing jobs in Newberry County.

The resolution states that the United States International Trade Commission, subsequent to a complaint filed by the Whirlpool Corporation, has recommended that the president tariff rate quotas on certain volumes of washing machines and washing machine parts manufactured by Samsung, a South Korea headquartered company that makes top-quality washing machines in Newberry.

“The proposed quotas, and especially any tariffs attached to those quotas, would reduce market competition for Whirlpool at the expense of American consumers, who, though unnecessary governmental interference, would pay higher prices for residential washing machines, while suffering from limited product choices and diminished product innovation,” said County Administrator Wayne Adams, reading from the resolution. “The ITC-recommended tariff rate quotas, or any even more drastic tariffs, would hamper Samsung’s focus on creating jobs in Newberry County, where it already employees 400 American workers and continues hiring toward its goal of approximately 1,000 employees at its Newberry County manufacturing facility.”

The resolution further states that competition in the residential washing machine market, as in all markets, is beneficial to consumer choices and product quality, and the continued growth of Samsung’s Newberry County manufacturing facility, which furthers that purpose, should not be hampered by unnecessary governmental intervention in the market place.

Council approved the resolution after Councilman Scott Cain made a motion to accept the resolution and Councilwoman Harriett Rucker seconded.

Other business

• Council approved a third reading of an ordinance authorizing the execution of an equipment lease purchase agreement not exceeding $500,000. Purchases for this fiscal year include, one pickup truck for Rescue Squad use, a pumper tanker truck for Fire Department use, an ambulance re-mount for EMS.

• A second reading on an ordinance for the issuance and sale of general obligation bonds not exceeding $1,325. This addresses several projects, or portions of projects, approved as part of the current fiscal year’s budget. Scalehouse construction ($60,000), IT suite construction ($30,000), DHEC/DSS Building renovations ($54,000), Old Jollystreet Road Bridge replacement ($94,422), Mid-Carolina Commerce Park irrigation system ($30,000), Mid-Carolina Commerce Park pad readiness for Lot#14 ($481,578), Detention Center renovations ($500,000). The balance of $75,000 is for bond issuance cost.

• Council approved a second reading to rezone a parcel located off Highway 391 from Residential to Rural. The plan is to place a manufactured home on the property.

• Council approved a second reading to rezone a parcel located at the intersection of Highway 34 and Oxner Road from Rural to General Commercial to locate a Dollar General store on the parcel.

• Council approved a resolution authorizing the Newberry County Administrator to execute a Renunciation and Release of Trust Interest. In 1994 The Chappells Community Club and the now defunct Town of Chappells bargained that the town would deed the club its present building, the former Chappells Elementary School, additionally the town provided the club with $25,000 for sole purpose of maintaining the lights in Chappells. The agreement indicates that Newberry County would take over maintenance of the lights in the event that the club could no longer do so. The county was not a party to this agreement. The Chappells Community Club is dissolving, and the county has no desire or interest in taking up the maintenance of the remaining lights. This renunciation makes clear the County’s intent with regard to the matter, and may assist the club in the process of dissolving its existence.

• Council approved a resolution authorizing an amendment to a fee agreement between Newberry County and Trucast. This resolution changes the company’s 2008 fee agreement by reducing the minimum investment required from five million to three million.

• Council approved a bid from Safe Industries in the amount of $298,610 for the purchase of Fairview Fire Department Fire Apparatus.

• Council approved a bid from Wiley Easton Construction Company in the amount of $642,586.50 for the town of Prosperity Civic Center and Recreation complex improvements, a CPST project.

By Andrew Wigger

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.