Samsung's Lee in U.S. ahead of chip plant decision

Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee is on his first high-profile trip since leaving jail.

He began a visit to Canada and the U.S. on Sunday (November 14) ahead of a likely decision on the company's new $17 billion U.S. chip plant.

He told reporters he'd be meeting with U.S. partners.

Lee was convicted of bribery and embezzlement in January.

He was sentenced to 30 months in jail but granted parole in August.

Upon his release the presidential office said it expected Lee to help South Korea gain 'semiconductors and vaccines'.

He appears to be doing just that on his trip, as Samsung weighs up where to build its new plant.

Sources told Reuters a site in Texas - near the city of Taylor - offered the better incentives package among the sites Samsung had looked at.

The firm has also made stable utilities like water and electricity a central feature of the decision.

That after the company's chip plant in Austin, Texas was shut down in the first quarter due to blackouts.

That caused damage valued at up to $339 million.

Lee is also expected to visit Boston, where vaccine maker Moderna is located.

Last month South Korea granted emergency use approval for Moderna's vaccine, which is produced by drugmaker Samsung BioLogics.

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