The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) ruled today that several foreign manufacturers, including Samsung and LG, both of whom have many models on Consumer Reports' recommended lists, are selling washing machines in the U.S. at prices below their fair market value. The antidumping investigation came in response to a petition filed in December 2011 by Whirlpool Corporation, another frequent winner in our appliance tests. Today's ruling could result in price hikes for washing machines made overseas, though the case is far from over.
"The Commerce Department's preliminary finding shows that dumping is occurring, which supports the legal action we took on behalf of our employees and the U.S. appliance industry," said Whirlpool Corporation spokesperson Kristine Vernier, in the news release. "Whirlpool is committed to building products in the regions where they are sold and investing in our U.S. manufacturing presence. Our investments will continue as long as we can compete on a level playing field, with all of our foreign competitors playing by the established rules."
The U.S. plans to impose antidumping tariffs for Korean producers LG, Samsung, and Daewoo of 12.15 percent, 9.62 percent, and 79.11 percent, respectively. Cash deposit rates for Mexican producers Electrolux and Samsung are 33.30 percent and 72.41 percent, respectively. The DOC also announced a 72.41 percent cash deposit rate for Whirlpool's Mexican operations, though the company says it has stopped shipping washers from Mexico for sale in the U.S.
In an earlier antidumping case involving French-door bottom-freezers, the DOC also ruled against Samsung and LG. But the U.S. International Trade Commission then concluded that a U.S. industry was not materially injured or threatened by those actions, and so no duties could be imposed. The trade commission will weigh in on this case as well, though not until February 2013, after the DOC issues its final determination.