US sets duties on S. Korean, Mexican refrigerators over ‘unfair’ low prices


WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday ordered final duties on bottom-mount refrigerators from South Korea and Mexico in a case brought by U.S. manufacturer Whirlpool against foreign rivals, including LG and Samsung.

Whirlpool accused the Mexican and South Korean producers of selling the refrigerators, which have the freezer section on the bottom, in the U.S. market at unfairly low prices. The century-old Michigan-based manufacturer, in a petition filed last year with the U.S. Commerce Department, also said its South Korean competitors received government subsidies. “As the world’s leading home appliance maker, we are taking a stand with these petitions to protect our 23,000 U.S. employees,” Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North America, said in a statement welcoming the decision. The U.S. Commerce Department set an 30.34 percent anti-dumping duty on LG’s bottom-mount refrigerators made in Mexico and a 15.41 percent duty on the same style of refrigerators that LG makes in South Korea. It set a 15.95 percent anti-dumping duty on Samsung’s Mexican-made bottom-mount refrigerators and a 5.16 percent anti-dumping duty on Samsung’s South Korean-made bottom-mount refrigerators. Samsung said it was disappointed with the ruling. “Although Samsung will do everything we can to mitigate any impact of this decision on our business and customers, American consumers stand to lose the most from today’s determination,” the company said in a statement.