Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

GM plans South Korea investment after Trump takes credit for plant closing

GM plans South Korea investment after Trump takes credit for plant closing

On the other hand, the official, who requested to remain anonymous, said that a closer look into GM's proposal should be done to see if the investment was enough to keep the unit afloat.

South Korea's finance minister said on Tuesday the government would hold talks with General Motors over the future of its four plants after the company announced the closure of one and left the other three in the balance.

GM.N has proposed an investment of $2.8 billion into its loss-making South Korean operations over the next 10 years and has asked Seoul to provide its share of the funds, a South Korean government official said on Wednesday.

"By opaque we mean the high rate of profits to raw material costs, interest payments regarding loans and unfair financial support made to GM's headquarters", Paik told lawmakers in parliament.

The trade minister also stated that taxpayers' money would not be wasted in government efforts associated to the GM issue. Last week, the US automaker announced it would shut down a factory in Gunsan, southwest of Seoul, and said it was mulling the fate of its three remaining plants in South Korea.

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Lim Han-taek, the head of GM Korea's union, told Reuters that workers would go on strike if the company decides to pull out of South Korea entirely.

GM's global operations head met KDB's chairman and the Korean union leader, according to the bank and the GM Korea union.

"(The government) will come up with its own stance after we go over the company's plan on normalisation, while continuing to have thorough discussions", said Kim Dong-yeon to reporters. It also added that it should make "meaningful progress" with stakeholders by the end of February.

The US trade deficit - which Trump has vowed repeatedly to fix - widened even further during his first year in office, up 12 per cent to $566 billion.

"If GM says it will completely withdraw from South Korea, we will down our tools".

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Lim cited the negative public views of South Korea's auto unions.

In the case of South Korea, it announced it would consider appealing to the WTO if the USA decides to impose tariffs on steel, according to a Nikkei Asian Review report.

Seoul's inclusion in the list is frustrating since other close allies of the U.S. such as Canada, Japan and Germany, were excluded from the extra tariff though they are among the top 10 steel exporters.

Securing meaningful production volume of a new vehicle model will be a critical factor in GM Korea Co.'s continuing presence in South Korea, industry sources said Tuesday.

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