U.S. backs Whirlpool in anti-dumping case

Appliance maker Whirlpool prevailed in a preliminary finding by the U.S. Commerce Department that foreign producers in South Korea and Mexico -- including Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics -- violated United States and International trade laws by “dumping” bottom-mount refrigerators in the United States.

The Oct. 27 ruling found company-specific dumping margins for four Mexican producers: Samsung at 36.65%, LG at 16.44%, Mabe at 36.21% and Electrolux at 19.80%. In Korea, manufacturer Samsung was hit with a 32.2% anti-dumping duty, and LG received a 4.09% penalty.

As a result of the Commerce Department's action, affected importers will be required to post bonds as security for possible future payment of anti-dumping duties if United States' wholesale sales prices on bottom-mount refrigerators are not raised to fair value.

Manufacturer Samsung released a statement after the ruling saying it is in compliance with U.S. trade laws and expects to ultimately prevail.   

“The Department of Commerce took exception to the manner in which Samsung provided certain information and, as a result, made adverse assumptions in its calculations of the anti-dumping margins. However, the Department of Commerce has requested that Samsung provide the needed information in a different form, which it has agreed to consider before issuing its final determinations. We intend to present factual data and information to that end during the full investigation.” 

The Commerce Department said it is halfway through its investigation, and will seek further information from the companies being investigated and conduct a full audit before the final determination. These results are expected in March 2012. On the successful completion of this case, the United States government may assess duties against United States imports from South Korea and Mexico of bottom-mount refrigerators.

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