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No Import Duties For Foreign Fridges


Four offshore majap
makers dodged a very large bullet today
after the U.S. International Trade Commission
(ITC) unanimously ruled in their favor
in a year-long anti-dumping case initiated by

The manufacturers — Frigidaire, LG, Samsung
and GE’s Mexican OEM partner Mabe
— had faced possible double-digit duties on
their imported bottom-mount refrigerators
after the U.S. Commerce Department determined
last month that the Korean products
are subsidized and that all are sold in the
U.S. at below-market prices.

But the final decision rested with the ITC,
an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency,
which found in a 5-0 vote that the fridges
have not harmed the U.S. majap industry.

“The United States International Trade
Commission today determined that a U.S.
industry is not materially injured or threatened
with material injury by reason of imports
of bottom mount refrigerator-freezers
from Korea that the U.S. Department of
Commerce has determined are subsidized
and from Korea and Mexico that Commerce
has determined are sold in the United States
at less than fair value,” the agency said in

Whirlpool, which filed the anti-dumping
and anti-subsidy petitions in March 2011,
said it plans to review the ITC’s final decision
and will determine whether or not to appeal.

“Of course we’re extremely disappointed
by today’s ruling and the implications it has
for our U.S. production of bottom-mount
refrigerators,” said Marc Bitzer, president
of Whirlpool North America. “We believe
the facts clearly demonstrated that dumped
imports of bottom-mount refrigerators from
South Korea and Mexico are causing injury
to the U.S. industry.”

In a statement, LG Electronics USA home
appliance president Chris Jung called the
investigation “baseless,” and said his company
“respects fair trade and the rules of
international trade and is gratified that its
selling practices were found to be in accordance
with these rules.”

Samsung similarly issued a statement
stating that “Whirlpool’s action in bringing
this case simply resulted in a lengthy investigation
that has been costly to the U.S. taxpayer,
the result of which has been to prove
that Samsung is in compliance with U.S.
trade law.”

And an Electrolux spokesperson noted
that the manufacturer is “very pleased” with
the ITC’s unanimous decision and remains
“committed to delivering bottom-mount refrigerators
in the United States.”

LG and Samsung still face a separate anti-
dumping investigation by the ITC regarding
certain large-capacity washers imported
from Korea and Mexico. The agency said in
February that it found preliminary evidence
of predatory pricing and expects the inquiry,
also brought by Whirlpool, to continue
through February 2013.