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Whirlpool Comments on Preliminary Determination on South Korean Refrigerator Subsidies
Sep 2, 2011
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Whirlpool Corp. released a statement on August 30 regarding a U.S. Commerce Department's issuance of a negative preliminary determination in its countervailing duty investigation, which focuses on subsidies provided by South Korean to certain Korean refrigerator producers.

Whirlpool said the non-final determination came four months into a 12-month investigation and noted that, two weeks ago, the Commerce Department expanded its investigation to include seven additional categories of subsidies to Korean refrigerator producers.

Whirlpool said the August 30 subsidy determination was "separate and distinct from the Commerce Department's antidumping investigation against certain Korean refrigerator producers, and is in no way indicative of the outcome of the antidumping case." A preliminary determination in the antidumping case, Whirlpool said, is expected in October 2011.

"Whirlpool Corporation is not surprised by this preliminary decision, given the Korean producers' bold resistance to providing adequate responses to the Commerce Department's questionnaires," said spokesperson Kristine Vernier. "We appreciate that the Commerce Department is conducting a thorough investigation and we're confident it will require the Korean producers to provide complete and accurate responses as required under U.S. law. We look forward to the final determination by next March, once all the facts are placed on the record and all the subsidy programs have been fully investigated."

Whirlpool filed antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against bottom-mount refrigerators from South Korea in March 2011. Two Korean manufacturers, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, export their production to the United States from manufacturing facilities in Korea and Mexico.

Whirlpool noted that it manufactures bottom-mount refrigerators in Amana, IA, U.S.

In May 2011, the International Trade Commission (ITC) made a preliminary affirmative determination that imports from Korea and Mexico are causing material injury to the domestic industry. Whirlpool said this unanimous ITC decision "validated the action Whirlpool took to protect its employees and their communities. The subsidy investigation is separate from the parallel antidumping investigation and in no way bears upon the merits of the antidumping case. Final determinations in both the subsidy case and the separate antidumping case are expected by March 2012."

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