Daewoo feels U.S. anger on washer duties

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Daewoo feels U.S. anger on washer duties

The U.S. Commerce Department proposed duties of as much as 71 percent on large, residential washing machines made in Korea, concluding that government subsidies for the goods undercut U.S. producers.

The agency announced a preliminary finding on Wednesday after Whirlpool of Benton Harbor, Michigan, said in a Dec. 30 complaint that LG Electronics, Daewoo Electronics and Samsung Electronics all sell washers in the U.S. for less than production costs.

Daewoo was told to pay 71 percent, Samsung 1.2 percent and LG 0.22 percent on their portions of $569 million in annual imports from Korea, according to the Commerce Department. All others were to pay 1.2 percent.

The duty set for Daewoo reflects the company’s refusal to respond to the U.S. investigation, the agency said.

Whirlpool is pleased “given the proven record that Korean appliance producers have benefited from their government’s subsidies that violate trade law,” Kristine Vernier, a spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Whirlpool closed up 30 cents to $63.13 in New York Stock Exchange trading, and touched $65.45 after the announcement.

The agency’s decision sets countervailing duties, which are imposed to offset government subsidies. The Commerce Department hasn’t issued the results of its investigation into Whirlpool’s anti-dumping complaint against imports from Korea and Mexico. That decision is scheduled next month, according to a statement.

The Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent agency, are scheduled to make their final determinations on the trade disputes later this year. Bloomberg

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