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Majap Makers Facing Steep Import Tariffs

Washington — Offshore majap makers are one step closer to paying stiff import tariffs on washing machines following a final anti-dumping ruling yesterday by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

The agency confirmed its preliminary findings that Korean- and Mexican-made washers by Daewoo, Electrolux, LG and Samsung are being sold in this country below fair value. The companies must continue to post cash deposits on their imported washers to cover estimated anti-dumping duties, as they have since July, pending a final decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) next month.

If the ITC agrees that the imported washers materially injure or threaten the U.S. majap industry, the duties will become permanent.

Whirlpool, which initiated the anti-dumping investigation in December 2011, was also found culpable, but has since moved its washer production from Mexico to Ohio.

Revised dumping margins include:

  • Daewoo: 82.4 percent on Korean-made washers;
  • Electrolux: 36.5 percent on Mexican-made washers;
  • LG: 13 percent on Korean washers; and
  • Samsung: 9.3 percent on Korean washers and 72.4 percent on Mexican-made washers.

The steep tariffs on Daewoo’s Korean and Samsung’s Mexican imports were based on their failure to cooperate in the investigation, the DOC said.

In a separate case, also brought by Whirlpool, the DOC also ruled in a separate case that Korean-made washers by Daewoo and Samsung are unlawfully subsidized by that country’s government, and imposed additional countervailing duty margins on the manufacturers of 72.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. LG was cleared in that investigation.

In a statement, Whirlpool’s North America president Marc Bitzer said the DOC decisions level the playing field and represent an important victory for the company’s employees, its customers, and the U.S. appliance industry.

Wayne Park, CEO of LG Electronics USA, said the DOC’s decision will harm U.S. retailers and consumers by artificially raising prices on some of the country’s most popular washing machines. He said the company is committed to full compliance with U.S. trade laws and will continue to contest the dumping margin before the ITC.

Samsung, in a statement issued to TWICE, said “We are confident that the U.S. International Trade Commission will finally determine that there is no material injury to the domestic industry. [Yesterday’s] decision will not impact Samsung’s ability to continue to deliver products that meet the highest standards in design, performance and quality. Samsung has a long-term commitment to our home appliance business in the United States.”

Last March the ITC dismissed DOC findings, also brought by Whirlpool, that Electrolux, LG, Samsung and GE’s Mexican partner dumped bottom-mount refrigerators in the U.S.

The ITC is expected to cast the final washer decision on Jan. 18.