New Tariffs on Appliances from South Korea and Mexico

New tariffs – Justice for U.S. economy or flawed targeting?

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

That was the mindset of the Whirlpool Corporation as it pushed the Department of Commerce to again investigate unfair practices against the U.S. economy concerning sales of washing machines, otherwise known as “dumping.” This investigation has yielded a new ruling in which producers who make appliances in Mexico and South Korea – such as Electrolux, LG, Samsung and Daewoo – will be required to pay cash deposits to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on washers imported to the U.S. starting this August.

However, to gain a proper perspective, we must go back to March of 2011, which is when Whirlpool Corporation filed its first petition to the DoC citing “dumping” concerns coming from Mexico and South Korea (“Dumping” occurs when a foreign company sells a product in the United States for less than a fair value). Their concerns were validated, but there was not enough “damage” done to the American economy to warrant any further action. Now, flash forward to December of 2011 and Whirlpool has once again filed a petition to the DoC citing the same concerns. This time, however, the investigation has caused the DoC to take action after preliminary determinations have ruled that a new tariff will be imposed to lend a little “equality” to the American side.

This satisfies Whirlpool, because they were behind both petitions and did succeed in getting the DoC’s attention. Also, they are planning on having nearly 100% of their washers sold in the U.S. by 2013. However, they are not the only show in town. LG, Electrolux, and Samsung do not have such plans, as of yet, and feel that they DoC has outdated methods of determining what is “dumping” and what is not. The final results remain to be seen as the U.S. International Trade Commission will make a final determination as to the level of “damage” that this “dumping” has caused the U.S. economy.

While the big players may have some new concerns to worry about, we are concerned how you, the consumer, feels about this ruling and the possible implications that this ruling may hold. It is you that drives this industry, and your business is what keeps this industry moving. Tell us your thoughts about this ruling. Was it fair? Do you think a tariff should be imposed to prevent dumping? Is the targeting flawed? We want to know your thoughts because it is your thoughts that matter and it is your thoughts that should be heard!

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