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Whirlpool wins trade commission ruling on washers

A favorable U.S. International Trade Commission ruling Wednesday will benefit Whirlpool Corp. and its 10,000 Ohio employees, including those who work in the company’s Greenville, Findlay and Columbus operations, Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown said.

The ITC unanimously ruled that product dumping of large residential washers by Samsung and LG injured the U.S. clothes washer industry, Whirlpool said.

The vote was the ITC’s final ruling in the investigations into washers from South Korea and Mexico. Whirlpool said it expects duties of from 11 to 151 percent to be imposed by the U.S. on washers made by LG, Samsung, Daewoo, and Electrolux.

Tariffs “will harm U.S. retailers and consumers by artificially raising prices on some of the country’s most popular washing machines,” said Wayne Park, chief executive of LG Electronics USA, in a statement.

Electrolux said it plans to appeal the ruling, which takes effect next month. Samsung said it will continue to compete in the U.S. market.

Whirlpool filed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy petitions in December 2011. This vote follows a U.S. Department of Commerce ruling in December that foreign manufacturers were selling clothes washers in the U.S. at less than fair value, Whirlpool said.

“The actions taken today by the U.S. government represent a great victory for the U.S. appliance industry, especially for our employees and consumers,” said Marc Bitzer, President, Whirlpool North America. “We invest in U.S. manufacturing because we believe in our 22,000 U.S. employees and the innovative products we produce. Today the government made the right decision.”

Sen. Rob Portman said the ruling was necessary for U.S. industry. “Ohio companies like Whirlpool who bring back critical manufacturing jobs from overseas deserve protection of U.S. trade laws. They make the best products in the world with great workers, but they have been losing money and business due to unfair practices by their overseas competitors,” Portman said.

“Trade enforcement is about standing up for American jobs. Today’s victory will improve the competitiveness of Whirlpool and manufacturers around the U.S.” Brown said.

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