On March 8, the director of President Trump's National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, accused LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics for unfair trade practices that hurt their American rivals like Whirlpool.
The unusual lambasting is raising concern that the new U.S. administration is beginning to exert trade pressure on Korea as Trump had vowed to do during his election campaign.
Though the Trump administration has made no secret about its push for protectionist policies, this is the first time for the US government to specifically point an accusing finger at Korean electronics giants.
Speaking at an economic policy conference, Peter Navarro, head of the White House National Trade Council (NTC), said Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have engaged in a practice called “country hopping” by moving manufacturing bases to evade anti-dumping tariffs.
Peter Navarro’s comment has immediately sent Samsung and LG fretting about what lies ahead of them. However, both are refraining from making a direct comment or response because this time such a harsh criticism came from a top White House official.
While talking about the US’s chronic trade deficits, Trump's top trade advisor leveled criticism at Samsung and LG, so it is assumed that he made a such comment probably without any intention to actually take action against the two.