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Whirlpool Accuses South Koreans Of Selling Refrigerators Below Cost

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mattroush Matt Roush
Matt Roush joined WWJ Newsradio 950 in September 2001 to spearhead the...
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Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) Wednesday filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against bottom-mount refrigerators from South Korea and an antidumping petition against the same product from Mexico. 

Two Korean manufacturers, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, export their production to the United States from manufacturing plants in both Korea and Mexico.  

The purpose of these petitions is to establish conditions of fair competition in the United States market that will support significant investment and innovation in the production of high-end refrigerators in the United States and the U.S. jobs created by that production. 

The Whirlpool products affected by this case are made in Amana, Iowa, where Whirlpool employs approximately 2,000 people.

The antidumping petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission and requests an investigation into the production of bottom-mount refrigerators, which Whirlpool says are being sold in the United States at substantially less than fair value. 

“Whirlpool Corporation is the world leader in appliances because we have invested in our people and in the technologies to give consumers the high-quality products they want for the past 100 years,” said Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North America. “When foreign producers compete in the U.S. market using unfair trade practices, we have no choice but to take action to defend the integrity of the global trading system, our approximately 23,500 U.S. employees, the U.S. refrigerator industry, and American consumer. Dumping is an unfair trade practice used to drive out competitors, which means consumers end up with fewer choices.”

The countervailing duty petition requests an investigation into the substantial unfair subsidies given by the Korean government to Samsung and LG in the past few years, injuring U.S.-based producers as a result. Selling dumped and unfairly subsidized products in the U.S. that injure the industry are unfair trade practices that violate the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws, which are based on the rules established by the international trading system.

Whirlpool made the decision to take legal action after an extensive investigation showed that Samsung and LG violated U.S. trade laws and, as a result, caused material injury to the U.S. appliance manufacturing industry. 

For additional information and to view the petition, please visit http://whirlpoolcorp.com/facts.

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