U.S. washer tariffs defy WTO ruling, ministry says

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U.S. washer tariffs defy WTO ruling, ministry says

The United States has yet to follow the World Trade Organization’s ruling last year that calls for antidumping duties on Korean washing machines to be lifted, trade officials said Thursday.

In February 2013, the United States imposed antidumping duties of 9.29 percent and 13.2 percent on imported washing machines made by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, Korea’s two leading consumer electronics companies, the Korean Trade Ministry said.

The Seoul government brought the case to the WTO in August of the same year as it felt Washington had inflated the dumping margins earned by Korean companies. In September last year, the WTO ruled in favor of Korea as it judged that the United States had violated the antidumping agreement between the two countries.

Under the WTO ruling, the United States is obligated to end tariffs on Korean washing machines during a 15-month period that ends on Dec. 26. Instead of removing the tariffs, though, the United States decided in September this year to slap a whopping 82.35 percent tariff on imported washing machines made by Samsung Electronics following its review of deals from 2015 to 2016, according to the Korea International Trade Association.

The hefty tariffs on Samsung washing machines came after the company decided not to spend the legal and accounting-related costs required to submit documents demanded by the U.S. International Trade Commission, the ministry said.

As Samsung does not export washing machines from Korea to the United States, the heavy tariffs won’t have any impact on its earnings results, industry analysts said. They called on the government to take pre-emptive steps to avoid the imposition of high antidumping tariffs on Korean products by U.S. authorities.

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