SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – A senior executive of LG Electronics Inc. on Thursday dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim that South Korea is dumping washing machines into the United States.
Dan Song, president of LG Electronics’ home appliance & air solution division, said there is no chance of dumping by South Korean companies, as the U.S. has been cracking down on any dumping by South Korean firms.
“We do not have any room for dumping in the U.S. market and are not dumping our products as we are manufacturing premium ones,” Song said in a news conference at the company’s headquarters in western Seoul. The purpose of the news conference was to unveil new air conditioners.
He said the alleged dumping has become an issue due to the U.S.political situation and the current government’s protectionist approach.
All of Song’s remarks were confirmed by the company.
His comments came hours after Reuters news agency quoted Trump as saying that South Korea is dumping washing machines into the U.S.and destroying what was once a good job-creating business.
Samsung Electronics Co. hasn’t released any official statement on Trump’s allegation.
Trump is expected to make a decision by early February on whether to impose tariffs on imported Korean washing machines, as recommended by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
In November, the commission unanimously recommended a “tariff-rate quota” to keep the two Korean electronics giants from selling inexpensive washing machines in the U.S. market, in what appears to be a step to protect American appliance makers, such as Whirlpool Corp.
The tariff-rate quota is a tax on imports that would take effect after a certain number of foreign products enter the U.S. market.
Some industry officials said that U.S. safeguard measures, if implemented, would have a negative impact on U.S. consumers, distributors and jobs.
“A safeguard on Korean washing machines could result in suspension ofplants operating or under construction in the U.S. by Korean companies. That means job losses for U.S. workers in the plants,” an industry official said on condition of anonymity.
LG has invested $250 million in a plant in Tennessee, while Samsung has invested US$380 million in building a washer plant in South Carolina.
The two companies exported a combined $1 billion worth of large home washing machines to the U.S. in 2016, holding 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively, of a market that is led by Whirlpool with 38 percent.
If Trump approves the safeguard measures, it will be the first such action since 2002, when the George W. Bush administration imposed an 8-30 percent duty on imported steel.