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World Trade Organization Backs Korea In U.S. Washer Dispute

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is taking the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to task for imposing stiff import duties on Korean-made washers three years ago.

The trade sanctions, which include an 11-percent surcharge on Samsung products and a 13-percent tariff on LG imports, stemmed from an anti-dumping suit brought by Whirlpool in 2012, which claimed that Korean-made washers were being sold in the U.S. below market value.

In response, Korea brought the case to the WTO on behalf of its majap makers, and the global trade relations group found that in some instances the U.S. Commerce Department “acted inconsistently” in determining dumping activity and in its punitive countermeasures, in violation of certain WTO regulations.

The U.S. has 60 days to appeal the findings.

Whirlpool also filed a separate antidumping petition last December with the Commerce Department and ITC, charging that Samsung and LG have skirted the import duties by moving their laundry production to China. A final ruling in that case isn’t expected for another two years.