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Electrolux To Contest Washer Tariffs

The issue: $70 million in duties, over some late paperwork.

Electrolux is taking the U.S. Commerce Department to court.

The issue: a 72.4 percent tariff rate imposed on Mexican-made washers that it brought into the country between February 2016 and last November.

Electrolux, based in Sweden, has been subject to Commerce Department tariffs since 2012, ostensibly to punish below-market pricing on foreign imports that could harm domestic majap makers.

But the latest antidumping duty skyrocketed from the prior period’s 3.67 percent assessment — indicating minimal dumping — to the current 72.4 percent rate merely because of some overdue paperwork, Electrolux said. The company never received notice from the Commerce Department, it argued, and as a result is facing one-time tariff costs of up to $70 million.

The duty was preliminarily set in November, at which time Alan Shaw, head of Electrolux Major Appliances North America decried it as “completely unfounded.”

The Commerce Department finalized the rate this month, prompting the manufacturer to appeal the decision.

“Electrolux believes that the company has a very strong legal case,” the company said in a statement, and “will contest this decision vigorously.”

The case parallels a protectionist action on imported household washers and their components that was approved by President Trump in January.

See: Trump OKs Washer Tariffs, Samsung and LG Cry Foul

LG Electronics implemented price hikes in the wake of the sanctions, and both it and Samsung are scrambling to get their first U.S. plants, located in Tennessee and South Carolina, up to speed.

Electrolux, which already operates appliance factories in the U.S., is holding off on a $250 million investment in its own Tennessee facility after Trump imposed stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum.

See: Electrolux Halts Tennessee Expansion Amid Trump Metal Tariffs