(Updates with comment from Samsung in fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. dumped refrigerators at low cost, the U.S. Commerce Department said in a case brought by Whirlpool Corp. The agency set duties of as much as 36.65 percent.
Samsung of Suwon, South Korea, faces a tariff 36.65 percent for refrigerators produced in Mexico and 32.2 percent for those from South Korea based on the preliminary findings, the department said today in a statement. LG Electronics will pay 16.44 percent for products made in Mexico and 4.09 percent on South Korea units. Dumping refers to selling a product at a discount in a foreign market.
The decision “validates the legal actions we are taking to protect our 23,000 employees in the United States and the communities in which they work,” said Kristine Vernier, a spokeswoman for Whirlpool, the world’s largest appliance maker. “Maintaining jobs in the United States requires restoring fair competition through the strong enforcement of United States and international trade laws.”
LG Electronics of Seoul said today in a statement that it strongly disagrees with the findings and believes they will be reversed when the Commerce Department makes its final determination. Samsung said its disagreed with the U.S. finding and said it was confident it will be found “in compliance” with trade laws, according to a company statement today.
The bottom-mount models covered by the decision have the freezer below the refrigerator section and are more energy efficient, according to Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool. Imports of refrigerators of all types were valued last year at $2.3 billion from Mexico and $881 million from South Korea, the Commerce Department said today.
The investigation found Daewoo Electronics Corp. of Seoul hadn’t been dumping the appliances, according to the Commerce Department statement.
The Commerce Department, in a separate preliminary investigation, found that Chinese companies are dumping steel wheels, and set duties from 110.58 percent to 193.54 percent.
Accuride Corp. of Evansville, Indiana, and Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. of Akron, Ohio, filed petitions seeking the duties on the steel wheels, the department said today in an e- mailed statement.
--Editors: Steve Geimann, Larry Liebert
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