Washington - A preliminary investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has found that certain large residential washers imported from Korea and Mexico are harming the U.S. appliance industry by being sold at below-market prices.
The preliminary vote, taken earlier today, stemmed from anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions filed with the ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) in December by Whirlpool, accusing LG and Samsung of predatory pricing.
Whirlpool also filed similar petitions against bottom-mount refrigerators from Electrolux, LG and Samsung last March. The DOC
in a preliminary determination in October that the products were sold in the U.S. at dumped prices.
"Whirlpool is pleased with the ITC's preliminary affirmative injury determination," a company spokesperson said. "This decision by the ITC validates the actions we've taken to protect the U.S. domestic appliance industry, our 23,000 U.S. employees, and the communities in which they work."
LG said it disagrees with today's preliminary vote by the ITC and promised to "aggressively contest the injury-related issues in the final determination phase of the case."
In a statement, Chris Jung, president of LG Electronics USA's home appliances division, said the company "looks forward to the opportunity to show why imports from LG ... have in no manner injured Whirlpool. We are confident that LG will prevail in the final ITC determination."
A Samsung spokesperson said the company is disappointed with the ITC's preliminary determination and disagrees that there is any material injury to the U.S. washer industry, as evidenced by Whirlpool's strong
and its continued market share dominance.
Samsung argued that U.S. consumers have been willing to pay a premium for its products and that Whirlpool's actions "will ultimately reduce choice and value for the American consumer."
"We are confident that once the full investigation is concluded, it will be determined that Samsung is in compliance with U.S. trade laws," the spokesperson said.
The U.S. ITC is an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade, including the effects of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries.
The investigations are expected to run through February 2013.