Feds issue final ruling on washer ‘dumping’


Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool is a global maker of appliances, such as washing machines. Photo via fb.com

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation has received vindication in its complaint against two competitors over anti-“dumping” infringements.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, or DOC, announced last week a "final decision" that Samsung and LG engaged in "ongoing dumping of clothes washers from China into the U.S.," in violation of U.S. and international trade laws, according to Whirlpool.

Whirlpool said the DOC also declined to apply Samsung's dumping rate retroactively, because Samsung’s actions did not meet the DOC's "legal threshold for critical circumstances."

The ruling is in response to a petition filed by Whirlpool Corporation in December 2015.

Whirlpool claimed that following a 2013 U.S. government dumping ruling, Samsung and LG moved their washer production to China, “in an effort to avoid the orders.”

Dumping occurs when a “foreign producer sells a product in the United States at a price that is below that producer's sales price in the country of origin or at a price that is lower than the cost of production," according to the International Trade Administration website. The "difference between the price in the foreign market and the price in the U.S. market is called the dumping margin.”

In the ruling, the DOC announced anti-dumping margins of 52.51 percent for Samsung and 32.12 percent for LG.

Anti-dumping margins are determined based on a percentage rate calculated to counteract the dumping margin.

Whirlpool said upon an "anticipated affirmative" U.S. International Trade Commission ruling in January 2017 on injury from the dumping and any technical corrections from the DOC to account for possible clerical errors, Samsung and LG will be "required to pay cash deposits" at the rates.

A Samsung spokesperson shared the following statement in response to the ruling.

“Samsung is pleased that the U.S. Department of Commerce's ruling confirms that we did not inappropriately increase imports prior to the preliminary determination, leading to no retroactive duties.

“We are, however, disappointed by the department’s final duty rate calculations. These calculations were based on an unrealistic benchmark price that did not reflect market realities. 

“Samsung remains committed to fair competition and delivering innovation to the marketplace and will continue to deliver products that meet the highest standards in design, performance and quality to our customers.”

Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool, said the ruling “is an important victory” in holding companies accountable “when they systematically violate trade laws to gain a competitive advantage.”

"We are strongly committed to the application and enforcement of trade laws, which support fair competition, a solid U.S. manufacturing base and continued investments in innovation that improve the lives of our consumers,” Fettig said.

Whirlpool said Samsung and LG have since “stockpiled” product in the U.S. and moved production from China to Vietnam and Thailand to “avoid paying cash deposits on imports from China.”

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