In a victory for foreign-based manufacturers, the U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that LG Electronics and its affiliates were not guilty of “dumping” certain refrigerator models on the U.S. market. The 5-0 vote ended a year-old investigation initiated by Whirlpool, which claimed that bottom-mount refrigerators made in Mexico and Korea were sold in the United States at below market value.
As a result of the ITC's "negative injury determination," the Department of Commerce will not issue an anti-dumping duty order, and imports of bottom-mount combination refrigerator-freezers can enter the United States without any dumping duties being imposed.
The ITC’s decision reverses a March 19 finding by the U.S. Commerce Department, which ruled that two South Korean manufacturers and four Mexican producers were guilty of “dumping” their bottom-mount refrigerators on the U.S. market. LG Electronics and Samsung, among others, were hit with anti-dumping penalties.
In reaction to the ITC’s decision, Whirlpool issued the following statement: "Of course we're extremely disappointed by [the ITC’s] ruling and the implications it has for our U.S. production of bottom-mount refrigerators," said Marc Bitzer, president, Whirlpool North America. "We believe the facts clearly demonstrated that dumped imports of bottom-mount refrigerators from South Korea and Mexico are causing injury to the U.S. industry. Despite [the] ruling, Whirlpool remains committed to taking action against any unlawful trade practices that threaten our 23,000 U.S. employees or our ability to produce in the United States the innovative and high-quality products that consumers demand."