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Whirlpool Calls U.S. Tariff Decision on Korean Washers a Victory

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- In a decision Whirlpool Corp. said was a victory, the U.S. Commerce Department raised anti-dumping duties on washing machines from South Korea made by LG Electronics Inc. from preliminary tariffs set in July. They were lowered on Samsung Electronics Co.

Levies at 13.02 percent were set for LG and 9.29 percent for Samsung for selling large, residential washers in the U.S. below production costs, the department said yesterday in a statement. Duties of 82.41 percent on Daewoo Electronics Corp. were left unchanged.

“This decision is an important victory for our 22,000 dedicated U.S. employees, the consumers we serve and the U.S. appliance industry,” Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool North America region, said in a statement. Whirlpool brought the complaint.

The department also set duties as high as 72.41 percent on washer imports from Mexico.

Warren Connelly, a lawyer for Samsung, said the Commerce Department employed a controversial practice, looking at a specific time period in which prices were lower, that allowed it to set the higher tariffs.

The U.S. also established additional rates to counter government subsidies it said the Korean manufacturers received. For Samsung, the rate is 1.85 percent and for Daewoo, 72.3 percent. The additional rates don’t apply to LG.

This is not the last step in the process. The U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to take a final decision on the case in February, and Samsung predicted that it would prevail then.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at mdrajem@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

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