By Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON Jan 23 A U.S. trade panel gave final
approval on Wednesday to anti-dumping duties on hundreds of
millions of dollars of residential washing machines from Mexico
and South Korea in a case brought by American manufacturer
The U.S. International Trade Commission voted 6-0 that the
century-old U.S. manufacturer had been materially harmed, or at
least was threatened with material injury, by the imports.
The action clears the way for the Commerce Department to
issue five-year duty orders on imports manufactured by Samsung
, LG Electronics and other suppliers.
For Whirlpool, the decision is far better than the result in
another case it brought against refrigerator imports from Mexico
and South Korea. In that case, the commission voted last year to
block duties set by the Commerce Department.
Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North America, called
the decision "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,"
Samsung said it was disappointed with the decision and
warned it could "reduce the full range of choice in premium
washers for some American consumers."
The United States imported $434 million worth of washers
from Mexico in 2011 and $568 million from South Korea.
The Commerce Department announced last month that its
investigation found Mexican manufacturers were "dumping" the
washers in the United States at prices 36 percent to 72 percent
below fair market value and it set duties accordingly.
It said South Korean producers were undercutting prices by
around 9 percent to 82 percent.
The department also set countervailing duties of 0.01
percent to 72 percent on the South Korean washers to offset
government subsidies it found in its investigation.
South Korean producers Daewoo, LG and Samsung
were found to be dumping at prices about 82 percent, 13 percent,
and 9 percent, respectively, below fair market value.
Daewoo, which the Commerce Department said failed to
cooperate in the investigation, was also hit with a 72 percent
countervailing duty, while the two other companies received
rates of below 2 percent.
Mexican producers Electrolux, Samsung Electronics
Mexico and Whirlpool International received final anti-dumping
duties of 37 percent, 72 percent and 72 percent, 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.