WASHINGTON: Whirlpool Corp. and its factory in Clyde, Ohio, won on Tuesday when the U.S. International Trade Commission decided unanimously that Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. have illegally “dumped” clothes washing machines into the United States from China factories for prices below fair market value.
The vote is a boost to Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., which filed the anti-dumping complaint in December, 2015. Whirlpool’s only U.S. washing machine plant is in Clyde, about 40 miles southeast of Toledo, and the factory employs about 3,000.
The anticipated decision was in line with the U.S. Department of Commerce, which said last month that the two South Korean firms were found to have sold below market prices residential washers exported from factories in China to U.S. consumers.
The trade commission is expected to issue a final ruling on the matter on Jan. 23. The Commerce Department already set new import tariffs of 52.5 percent for Samsung washers and 32.1 percent for LG washers. After the commission issues its final report, the new tariffs will be finalized, and the U.S. Customs agency will begin enforcement.
However, Samsung and LG washers already in the United States are not subject to the new tariffs, which means consumers likely won’t notice a pricing difference for those brands at stores.
Samsung and LG had been found to be “dumping” washing machines in the United States that were made in Korea and Mexico factories, but after that determination was made four years ago, production was moved to Chinese factories, the Commerce Department said.
The Commerce Department estimated the value of the washer imports from China in 2015 was $1.1 billion.