] Samsung Electronics
and LG Electronics
are preparing to defend themselves against their US rival Whirlpool, which accused them of circumventing US laws in a recent petition to the US International Trade Commission.
The South Korean home appliance manufacturers are currently working on refuting the claim that their businesses harm the US industry, in order to counter their American rival’s claim that the US ITC should impose anti-dumping tariffs on Samsung and LG washers.
Whirlpool filed the petition on May 31, accusing the two companies of selling washers at prices lower than fair value upon relocating their production of washers from Mexico and China to Vietnam and Thailand for their exports to the US, allegedly to avoid anti-dumping tariffs by the Donald Trump administration.
Whirlpool called the act “hopping” and a continuation of “their injurious behavior.” The company was referring to the US government’s issuance of a new anti-dumping order against Samsung and LG in China.
Upon the petition, the US ITC embarked on an investigation on June 5.
If the ITC finds damage to Whirlpool and other American washing machine manufacturers caused by the Korean products in terms of price competition, the commission could activate a safeguard by limiting imports of the products.
“We reject the notion that imports of our washing machines harm Whirlpool,” said Samsung Electronics America in a statement. “Consumers buy Samsung washing machines because of our design and innovation, and now they stand to lose the most by this filing, with the potential for limited choices, higher prices and stunted innovation.”
Samsung highlighted that the company is employing thousands of people in the US and has invested more than US$27 billion across the country.
LG plans to aggressively refute the Whirlpool claim with evidence, the company said.
“We will focus on proving there has been no harm to the US market, especially to distribution channels and consumers,” an LG spokeswoman said. “The latest move seems like a ride on the increasing protectionist move by the Trump administration.”
In January, the ITC ruled that the two Korean home appliance companies imported and sold washing machines made in China at unfair prices.
According to market researcher TraQline, Samsung was the top washing machine seller in the US with a 19.7 percent market share, followed by Whirlpool with 17.3 percent and LG with 16.8 percent, as of the first quarter of 2017.
The ITC can investigate the issue for up to 150 days from the acceptance of the petition. It will hold a public hearing on Sept. 7 and an official ruling will be made on Oct. 5.
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org