Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR)’s Petition Against Samsung and LG Washers


Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) files a patent with the U.S Department of Commerce and the U.S International Trade Commission against Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics’ washers.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, among the largest manufacturers of the laundry and kitchen appliances in Korea, have been accused of ‘dumping’ their washers that are made in China into the U.S market. The washers are sold at a loss or a lower price than the price they are sold at in their country of manufacture, China. As a result, more Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) and Electrolux customers are shifting to buy these cheaper brands.

The accusation petition claims that the Korean companies are undermining the indigenous players’ market in America. The petition by Whirlpool clearly states certain parts of the washers as well as full size top-load and front-loads washers made by the Korean companies are dumped in the American markets.

These washers cost approximately $500 to $ 1,000 currently in the U.S market. It went further to categorically claim that the China-made LG and Samsung washers take a whole 31% of the U.S market compared to only 6% in 2012. This has resulted to a tremendous reduction of American laundry appliances companies’ customer base.

A similar ban by the South Korean and Mexican governments was imposed on the Korean giants in 2013, which resulted to tariff imposition on these items. The entry into the American market has been seen as a response to this previous ban. The American government has introduced a tariff of 9% to13% on the imported goods through the U.S Customs and Border Protection as a strategy of limiting the entry of these washers into the US market.

However, this petition will be determined at the end of 2016, given its stated timeline for the government to make a preliminary ruling. The prices of these washers are likely to go up if Whirlpool wins the petition but before then, the customers can take the alleged low-cost advantage and buy the LG and Samsung’s washing machines.

The Korean companies claimed that they have not violated any anti-dumping regulations already in place and their sale of these machines has not caused any market damage to the U.S domestic players.

This kind of petition is not a one-off case for Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR). In 2012, they had placed another petition demanding tariffs charge on LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics’ refrigerators; however, the ruling favored the Korean companies as it was rejected by the U.S International Commission.

Sources: wjs, treuters