Benton Harbor, Mich. -
Whirlpool filed petitions today with the U.S. Commerce Department and
International Trade Commission (ITC) accusing LG and Samsung of predatory
The antidumping and
countervailing duty petitions claim the Korean companies are selling
bottom-mount refrigerators in the U.S. at prices that are substantially below
market value, assisted by subsidies from the Korean government.
"When foreign producers
compete in the U.S. market using unfair trade practices, we have no choice but
to take action to defend the integrity of the global trading system, our
approximately 23,500 U.S. employees, the U.S. refrigerator industry, and
American consumers," said Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North
America. "Dumping is an unfair trade practice used to drive out
competitors, which means consumers end up with fewer choices."
The antidumping petition
requests an investigation into the production of bottom-mount refrigerators,
which are manufactured by the two companies in Korea and Mexico.
The countervailing duty
petition requests an investigation into what Whirlpool describes as "substantial
unfair subsidies given by the Korean government to Samsung and LG in the past
few years," which have injured U.S.-based producers.
Whirlpool said the infractions
constitute unfair trade practices that caused material injury to the U.S.
appliance manufacturing industry and violate U.S. laws, and were confirmed by
"an extensive investigation."
In a statement, Samsung said
it "respects the trade rules in the U.S. market, and is confident that
the Department of Commerce will confirm that there has been no dumping or
subsidization and that the ITC will find that there has been no material injury
caused to U.S. producers. We will continue to focus on responding to market
demand and satisfying our customers, especially in the refrigeration market in
For its part, LG described the petitions as "outrageous."
"Whirlpool's claims about alleged ‘dumping,' ‘subsidies' and ‘unfair competition' are unfounded," LG said in a statement. "Average selling prices in the United States for LG-manufactured multi-door refrigerators are consistently higher than those built by Whirlpool. In recent years, Korean manufacturers have led the introduction of multi-door refrigerators that employ superior technology, stylish designs and manufacturing efficiencies. There has been no material injury to the U.S. industry. Rather, this is an example of the inability of a domestic manufacturer to keep up technologically."
LG promised to cooperate fully with the Commerce Dept. and ITC in its investigation.