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ITC Finds Evidence Of Predatory Majap Pricing


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 this month, stemmed
from anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions filed
with the U.S. 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 LG, Samsung
and Electrolux over bottom-mount refrigerators last
March, citing “substantial unfair subsidies given by the
Korean government to Samsung and LG in the past few
years.” The DOC confirmed in a preliminary determination
in October that the products were sold in the U.S. at
below-market prices.

The DOC defines dumping as the sale of products at a
price below the home-market or a third-country price, or
below the cost of production. Both investigations could
lead to the imposition of “anti-dumping duties,” or trade
tariffs, which would effectively increase the cost of the
imported products to dealers and consumers.

“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

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
fourth-quarter earnings 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 investigations are expected to run
through February 2013. In its procedure, the
DOC would first announce preliminary antidumping
duties and then follow with final duties.
If the ruling is maintained at that time, and
the U.S. ITC also finds evidence of damage to
a U.S. manufacturer, the anti-dumping penalties
will be finalized.

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.