SEOUL -- Posco has opened a steel wire processing center in the American state of Indiana amid discontent in Washington over the trade deficit with South Korea.
The $20.9 million plant with an annual capacity of 25,000 tons marks Posco's second processing center abroad, after a facility in Mexico. It will handle steel wire for bolts, nuts and bearings used in autoparts, electronics, manufacturing machinery and elsewhere. The new plant will supply Japanese automaker Nissan Motor as well as South Korean manufacturers in the U.S.
Posco CEO Kwon Oh-joon celebrated the opening in person Friday with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and a crowd of roughly 150. Kwon expressed hope that the investment will encourage other South Korean companies in American expansion and aims to localize operations as a South Korean company with significant earnings from the U.S. market.
South Korea's steelmakers exported 3.74 million tons of steel to the U.S. last year, accounting for 12% of the East Asian country's total steel exports. America is second only to China, accounting for 15%. The U.S. moved earlier this year to impose anti-dumping duties on phosphor copper from South Korea.