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Whirlpool Wins Anti Dumping Case

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Reuters reports that a trade panel in the USA has given approval to anti-dumping duties on hundreds of millions of dollars of residential washing machines from Mexico and South Korea in a case brought by domestic appliance manufacturer Whirlpool.

The U.S. International Trade Commission voted 6-0 that the US based manufacturer had been materially harmed, or at least was threatened with material injury, by the imports. The action means that the Commerce Department can issue five-year duty orders on the imports whcih could cost the Korean producers dearly.

Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North America, said the decision was "a great victory for the U.S. appliance industry, especially for our employees and consumers."

"We expect this ruling will restore a level competitive playing field that enables Whirlpool and other U.S. manufacturers to continue investing in America to produce the high-quality, innovative products that consumers deserve," Bitzer said.

The United States imported $434 million worth of washers from Mexico in 2011 and $568 million from South Korea.

The department announced last month that its investigation found Mexican manufacturers were "dumping" the washers in the United States at prices 36.52 to 72.41 percent below fair market value and it set duties accordingly. It said South Korean producers were undercutting prices by 9.29 percent, to 82.41 percent. The department also set countervailing duties of 0.01 percent, to 72.30 percent, on the South Korean washers to offset government subsidies it found in its investigation.

South Korean producers Daewoo, LG Electronics Inc , and Samsung were found to be dumping at prices 82.41%, 13.02%, and 9.29 percent, respectively, below fair market value.

Daewoo, which the Commerce Department said failed to cooperate in the investigation, was also hit with a 72.03% countervailing duty, while the two other companies received rates of below 2%.

Mexican producers Electrolux, Samsung Electronics Mexico and Whirlpool International received final anti-dumping duties of 36.52%, 72.41%, and 72.41%, respectively.

Whirlpool has previously said that it had stopped shipping washers from Mexico for sale in the United States and therefore would not have to pay any duties.

Meanwhile in a press release shortly after this annouoncement  Wayne Park the president and CEO of LG Electronics in the USA, said, “LG respects the work the ITC Staff and Commissioners have put into this determination, but we disagree with the result, which will harm U.S. retailers and consumers by artificially raising prices on some of the country’s most popular washing machines.”

LG Electronics has aggressively contested the injury-related issues in all phases of this proceeding and will review its appeal options when the ITC’s final determination is released next month.

“LG is committed to full compliance with U.S. trade laws,” Park said. “As the leading brand of front-load residential washing machines in the United States, LG is proud of its premium, stylish and innovative laundry products designed to meet the needs of U.S. consumers.”

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