[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have called on the US government to reconsider the International Trade Commission’s recent safeguard measures against their washing machines, claiming they would do more harm than good to American consumers, retailers and jobs.
“Any extra tariffs will raise prices, provide fewer product choices and impair job creation at our South Carolina factory,” said Samsung in a statement on Nov. 22, adding that the company has been contributing to the growth of the US economy by creating jobs, in response to claims that it has been hurting the domestic washer industry.
LG also said in a press release that implementation of the safeguard measures will have a negative impact on US consumers as the anticipated tariffs on imported washers will eventually limit their choice.
The statements comes after the ITC announced on Nov. 22 its recommendations for safeguard measures that include higher tariffs on imported washers made by non-American companies, in particular, Samsung and LG.
According to the ITC recommendations that has to be ratified by US President Donald Trump early next year, large residential washers being imported into the US will be subject to a tariff-rate quota for a duration of three years. Under the suggested scheme, imported Samsung and LG washers exceeding 1.2 million units will be slapped with a tax rate of 50 percent in addition to the current rate of duty.
“Although the ITC guidance is less stringent than what was requested by US electronics giant Whirlpool -- which wanted all washing machine imports to be levied a a 50 percent tariff -- the negative impact on Korean companies’ business in the US seems inevitable to some extent,” a market watcher said.
Whirlpool filed a safeguard petition with the ITC in May, arguing that Samsung and LG have been hurting the US market by dumping their products.
Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that it would soon announce plans to respond to the guidance. The ministry has previously vowed to work closely with the Korean firms to come up with response measures, such as filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)