Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool is a global maker of appliances, such as washing machines. Photo via fb.com
An appliance maker has filed an anti-dumping petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission against two competitors, who it said are participating in unfair business practices.
According to Benton Harbor-headquartered Whirlpool Corp., competitors Samsung and LG have been under-pricing washers produced outside of the United States and sold into the U.S. market, which is also known as dumping.
U.S. law allows companies to petition the government in cases where it believes imported products are being sold at less than fair value.
In the petition, Whirlpool accuses Samsung and LG of a “long-term, repeated pattern of pricing below cost,” which the company said “is injuring American washer manufacturers and threatening American manufacturing jobs.”
Whirlpool filed a petition in 2011, also accusing Samsung and LG of dumping practices from facilities in South Korea and Mexico.
In 2013, the U.S. International Trade Commission found Whirlpool’s original petition was valid, and that Samsung and LG had been under-pricing large residential clothes washers exported to the United States from their production facilities in South Korea and Mexico.
Whirlpool said rather than stopping the practice, the two companies are now skirting the rules by dumping the washers from China instead of Korea and Mexico.
"Simply put, beginning in 2013, Samsung and LG replaced their dumped washers from Korea and Mexico with dumped washers from China," said Marc Bitzer, president and COO for Whirlpool. “Since then, Samsung and LG have blatantly ignored a previous U.S. government order by continuing to dump washers into the United States.”
The current petition covers full-size, top-load clothes washers and full-size, front-load clothes washers. It also includes certain washer components for large residential clothes washer cabinets, tubs and baskets/drums.
Whirlpool said it filed its most recent petition seeking enforcement of U.S. and international trade laws.
“Enforcing trade rules will level the playing field for the U.S. appliance manufacturers,” the company said.
Samsung and LG response
“Samsung Electronics respects the trade rules in the U.S. market, and is confident that the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission will find no infringement. Samsung is committed to fair competition and providing consumers with choice, and we will continue to bring to market innovative and superior home appliance products that satisfy our customers.”
LG also disputed Whirlpool’s dumping allegations.
“LG believes that when this year-long investigation is completed, the results will show that LG’s washers have not been sold unfairly in the U.S. market and have not been causing any injury to the U.S. industry,” said John I. Taylor, vice president of public affairs for LG Electronics USA.
Taylor also said consumers deserve to have choices in the marketplace.
“Frankly, through this petition, Whirlpool is seeking to deprive consumers of choices among different brands,” he said. “LG will defend itself aggressively in this proceeding to preserve consumer choice.”