The appliance wars

In a preliminary finding, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has sided with Whirlpool in its anti-dumping petition against Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. The Benton Harbor, Mich., manufacturer claims it is being harmed by Samsung and LG, which are selling washers made in South Korea and Mexico at below fair value.

The ITC voted 4-1 in favor of the petition, which could lead to the United States imposing anti-dumping penalties and tariffs on residential washer imports by Samsung and LG. The issue is still under investigation by the ITC, which expects to release its final results by February 2013.

In response to the ITC’s preliminary determination, Samsung released a statement pointing out Whirlpool’s dominant market share in the United States and recent announcement of increased earnings. “We are confident that once the full investigation is concluded, it will be concluded that Samsung is in compliance with U.S. trade laws,” the company said.

LG said in a statement that the ITC maintains a “low threshold” for determining violations at this stage and is confident that it will ultimately prevail.

According to the Commerce Department, the United States imported $1.1 billion of washers from Mexico and South Korea in 2010.