January 12, 2017 13:16
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Tuesday upheld punitive tariffs on Samsung and LG washing machines manufactured in China.
The Commerce Department in December last year slapped anti-dumping duties of 52.51 percent and 32.12 percent on the two Korean firms after concluding that it was selling them below cost, and the ICT in a unanimous vote upheld the decision.
But the move is largely symbolic since the two companies no longer sell Chinese-made washing machines in the U.S.
After U.S. rival Whirlpool asked authorities last year to investigate, the two Korean giants switched to selling washing machines made in Thailand and Vietnam there instead. This is not the first time Whirlpool has accused Samsung and LG of dumping.
It also did so in 2011 and succeeded in getting duties leveled, but Korean took the matter to the World Trade Organization and eventually won the case in September last year.
The reason Whirlpool is worried is that Samsung and LG are threatening its lead in the U.S. market. Whirlpool's share of the washing machine market there was 18.6 percent last year, followed closely by Samsung's 17.9 percent and LG's 16.6 percent.
U.S. president-elect Donald Trump's stump rhetoric has made a trade war with China more likely, and many Korean manufacturers with production bases in China are worried for their future.
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