U.S. trade panel upholds duties on Chinese-made Samsung, LG washers

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The U.S. International Trade Commission voted unanimously to
impose final duties on the products of up to 52.5 percent
following a Commerce Department probe last year.

The decision locks the duties in place for five years, but
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Electronics Inc have largely shifted production for the U.S. market
away from China to Thailand and Vietnam.

The ruling is the latest in a long-running tariff battle
between Whirlpool and its South Korean archrivals. In 2012, a
previous probe by the U.S. Commerce Department found that
Samsung and LG washers made in South Korea and Mexico were sold
below production costs in the United States or benefited from
unfair subsidies.

The South Korean companies subsequently shifted production
for the U.S. market to China.

In Dec. 7 testimony before the trade commission, lawyers for
LG and Samsung said that the companies were now producing
washers for the U.S. market in Thailand and Vietnam. In the case
of Samsung, that production began in June 2016, about a month
before the Commerce Department issued preliminary anti-dumping
duties against Chinese-made LG and Samsung washers.

“This is a gratifying win for American manufacturing,
particularly our more than 3,000 employees at our factory in
Clyde, Ohio, who make clothes washers for American consumers,”
said Whirlpool Chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig said.

The Commerce Department probe last year stemmed from a
petition by Whirlpool Corp over imports of washers
manufactured by LG and Samsung in China. In 2015,
imports of such washers from China were valued at an estimated
$1.1 billion.



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