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Whirlpool Win: Commerce Dept. Issues Preliminary Subsidy Determination Against South Korean Clothes Washers
Jun 1, 2012
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On May 30, 2012, in response to a Whirlpool Corporation complaint regarding clothes washers, the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a preliminary determination against the South Korean government related to subsidies that have been determined to violate U.S. and international trade laws.

The clothes washer investigation was launched in early 2012 in response to a petition filed by Whirlpool Corp. The inquiry focuses on subsidies provided by the South Korean government to South Korean clothes washer producers that sell products in the United States - subsidies that the DOC determined were unlawful.

"Whirlpool Corporation is pleased with this favorable preliminary decision, given the proven record that South Korean appliance producers have benefitted from their government's subsidies that violate trade law," said Whirlpool spokesperson Kristine Vernier. "We are optimistic that the final determination will further validate that these subsidies undermine competition and cause material harm to the U.S. appliance industry."

On Dec. 30, 2011, Whirlpool filed anti-dumping petitions against large residential clothes washers from South Korea and Mexico, and an anti-subsidy petition against the same products from South Korea, with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Whirlpool filed the petitions seeking enforcement of United States and international trade laws; a preliminary determination in the anti-dumping case is expected in July 2012.

A similar petition was filed by Whirlpool Corp. against bottom-mount refrigerators imported from South Korea and Mexico. An April 2012 ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission found that the bottom-mount refrigerators imported from South Korea and Mexico did not cause material injury to the U.S. industry.

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