Commerce Department sides with Whirlpool
After investigating pricing practices among foreign appliance makers, the U.S. Commerce Department ruled on March 19 that two South Korean manufacturers and four Mexican producers were guilty of “dumping” their bottom-mount refrigerators on the U.S. market by selling them at less than fair value. The case was opened in response to a complaint filed by U.S. manufacturer Whirlpool.
LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, the two South Korean appliance makers, were determined to have a 15.41% and 5.16% dumping margin, respectively. For the appliances produced in Mexico, the findings were 30.34% for LG Electronics; 15.95% for Samsung; 6.0% for Mabe and 22.94% for Electrolux.
In a prepared statement, LG Electronics noted that the Commerce Department found in its favor on one issue: whether LG refrigerators were illegally subsidized. (The ruling was a “negative final determination.”) As for the anti-dumping finding, LG said it would “aggressively contest” the Commerce Department’s conclusion that LG’s bottom-mount refrigerator-freezers imported from Korea and Mexico are sold at dumped prices in the U.S.
“Commerce erroneously compared U.S. prices of Mexican refrigerators to the prices in Korea of a highly specialized line of Korean refrigerators designed primarily to store kimchi, a Korean food specialty,” the statement read.
Samsung said it was “disappointed that the Commerce Department continues to use discredited methodology” to calculate its antidumping margins.
“American consumers stand to lose the most from today’s determination,” Samsung said in its statement. “Samsung will continue to compete in the U.S. market. We have a long-term commitment to our home appliance business in the United States.”
The U.S. International Trade Commission, which is operating a concurrent investigation, is expecting to issue its findings on or about April 30, 2012.
Whirlpool, which filed the anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions in March 2011, said in a statement it is only seeking to establish conditions of fair competition in the U.S. market and the U.S. jobs created by that production. The appliances affected by this case are made in Amana, Iowa.
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Whirlpool shuffles international execs
Whirlpool has appointed Jose Drummond Jr., the current president of Whirlpool Latin America, to the position of president of Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa. Drummond will continue to report to Michael Todman, president, Whirlpool International. He replaces Bracken Darrell, who resigned from the company.
Whirlpool also announced that Joao Carlos Brega, currently president of Embraco, the company’s compressor business, will become president of Whirlpool Latin America. Brega will also report to Todman.
Roberto Campos, currently VP business and marketing, and Embraco electronic controls, will succeed Brega as president of Embraco.
Drummond became executive VP and president, Whirlpool Latin America, in September 2008. Previously, he was president, Whirlpool Latin America Home Appliances. He joined Whirlpool in 1999 as director, procurement, Whirlpool Latin America, and held a number of managerial positions, including VP sales and marketing, Whirlpool Latin America, and VP supply chain, Whirlpool Europe. Prior to joining Whirlpool, Drummond worked for Alcoa Aluminio and Accenture.
Brega became president, Embraco, in 2009. Previously, he was president, Whirlpool Mexico and Canada. Prior to this role, he was chief financial officer for Whirlpool Latin America. Brega joined Whirlpool in 1995 and served as operations director for Argentina and Chile, and finance director for North America and Latin America. Prior to Whirlpool, he worked for Sharp for Brazil.
Campos joined Embraco in 1987. He recently worked as VP business and marketing, and Embraco electronic controls. Prior to that, he was VP research and development and worked in several operational areas of Embraco.
Whirlpool is the world’s largest manufacturer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2011. The company markets products under the brands that include Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul and Bauknecht.
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DMT sees interest in U.S.-made products
DMT Diamond Machining Technology, manufactured in Massachusetts since 1976, reported an uptick in the interest of USA-made products and services.
“We have seen in when people ask at trade shows around the country and also on inquiries here at the plant,” said Stacy Brandon, director of marketing for the Marlborough, Mass.-based maker of sharpening tools. “We are very proud of still being a ‘Made in the USA’ company and truly meaning it.”
In the last five years, DMT has aggressively opened new markets in Europe and Asia; today its export business accounts for 25% of the company’s total revenue. The company said that even during the height of the recession, DMT was able to boost sales by 18%.
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