The US Department of Commerce on Monday placed preliminary anti-dumping duties on about US$1 billion worth of residential washing machines from Mexico and South Korea in a case brought by US manufacturer Whirlpool.
The department estimated Mexico manufacturers were selling the washers in the US at prices that were 33.3 percent and 72.41 percent below fair value. It said South Korean producers were undercutting prices by between 9.62 percent and 82.41 percent.
In an odd twist to the case, one of the two Mexican manufacturers hit with the 72.41 percent preliminary duty was Whirlpool itself.
However, Whirlpool said in a statement it had stopped shipping washers from Mexico for sale in the US and would therefore not face any duties.
The company said it had made significant investments at its Clyde, Ohio plant and expected nearly 100 percent of the washers its sells in the US to be US-made by next year.
Washers made by Electrolux and Samsung in Mexico were hit with preliminary anti-dumping duties of 33.3 percent and 72.41 percent, respectively.
Washers made by Daewoo, LG Electronics and Samsung in South Korea received preliminary anti-dumping duties of 82.41 percent, 12.15 percent, and 9.62 percent, respectively.
Importers have to post bonds or cash deposits based on the preliminary rates. In Daewoo’s case, the required cash deposit will be slightly less than the preliminary duty rate, the department said.
The US imported US$434 million of residential washers from Mexico and US$568 million from South Korea last year.
A final decision on both types of duties is expected by the end of the year.