The U.S. Department of Commerce issued
a preliminary determination last month that Electrolux,
LG Electronics (LGE), Samsung and Mexican OEM
Mabe, a GE supplier, 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 Koreanmade
bottom-mount models which would
raise their retail prices, and will presently be
required to post bonds as security for future
duty payments if the 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
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 advertising.