Washington - The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued a
preliminary determination today that Electrolux, LG Electronics (LGE) and
Samsung sold bottom-mount refrigerators here at dumped prices.
According to the preliminary finding, the majaps' were sold
in the U.S at wholesale prices that were lower than those in Mexico and Korea,
where the products were produced.
The Commerce Department's investigation was prompted by an antidumping
petition filed by Whirlpool last March.
A final determination is expected in March 2012 pending an
audit and further investigation. Depending on the outcome, the manufacturers could
be forced to pay import duties on Mexican- and Korean-made bottom-mount models,
and will presently be required to post bonds as security for future duty
payments if U.S. wholesale prices are not raised to fair value.
In a statement, LGE said it will "aggressively contest" the
Commerce Department's allegations and methodologies, which it claims are
erroneous and violate World Trade Organization standards.
"We are confident
that LGE will prevail in the final determination, which will demonstrate that
bottom-mount refrigerators have not been dumped in the United States," said LG
Electronics USA president/CEO Wayne Park.
A Samsung spokesperson said the company is disappointed by
the preliminary findings, which were based on "adverse assumptions" in the
Commerce Department's calculations. The manufacturer will resubmit its data in
a more suitable form, and is confident that it will be found to be in
compliance with U.S. trade laws once the full investigation is concluded.
"We expect our business to continue to thrive due to our
delivery of an excellent product experience to consumers," the representative
Electrolux told TWICE it does not comment on ongoing investigations as a matter of policy.
The Commerce Department will also issue a final
determination in March regarding Whirlpool's claim that LGE enjoyed illegal
subsidies from Korea on its bottom-mount refrigerators. The agency made a
preliminary determination in August that any governmental benefit LGE may have
obtained was negligible.
Separately, a U.S. district court in Chicago last week ordered
LG to pay a "substantial" portion of Whirlpool's court costs in a lawsuit brought
by LG over what it described as misleading claims in Whirlpool's steam dryer