Trade commission rules on washer 'dumping' case
An appliance maker in the region has been vindicated again in its claims that competitors were participating in unlawful “dumping” practices.
Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation said last week the U.S. International Trade Commission unanimously ruled that Samsung and LG “caused injury to the U.S. appliance industry” by selling their China-produced washing machines in the U.S. for less than they cost to make.
Whirlpool said the vote concludes the government’s investigation, which began in December 2015.
The vote follows a U.S. Department of Commerce, or DOC, ruling last month that Samsung and LG violated U.S. and international trade laws by dumping clothes washers from China into the U.S.
Samsung and LG now must pay anti-dumping duties at rates set by the DOC ─ margins of 52.51 percent for Samsung and 32.12 percent for LG, according to Whirlpool.
LG and Samsung both said in statements they are “disappointed” in the U.S. International Trade Commission’s vote.
“LG disagrees that U.S. washing machine producers have suffered injury from the pricing of washers imported by LG,” the company said.
It also made the claim that its washers are “generally higher priced” in the U.S. than those from domestic producers.
“Samsung Electronics respects the trade rules in the U.S. market and disagrees that its washer imports have caused harm or are sold at unfair prices,” a spokesperson for the company said.
The ruling comes four years after the government found Samsung and LG guilty of dumping washers from factories in Korea and Mexico, according to Whirlpool.
Following that 2013 ruling, Whirlpool claimed the companies moved their washer production to China "in an effort to circumvent the orders."
Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation, said “dumping” injures American appliance makers and threatens U.S. jobs.
"This is a gratifying win for American manufacturing, particularly our more than 3,000 employees at our factory in Clyde, Ohio, who make clothes washers for American consumers," Fettig said.
U.S. senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow “applauded” the ruling.
“The United States must act decisively to enforce existing trade laws when foreign companies deliberately and repeatedly engage in predatory trade practices,” Peters said.
Last year, Peters and Stabenow urged the DOC to move forward in addressing these dumping violations.