SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — U.S. tech manufacturer Whirlpool Corp. has demanded a punitive tariff of 50 percent on South Korean firms’ washers, government sources said Wednesday.
According to South Korea’s trade ministry, Whirlpool submitted the demand to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which earlier determined that Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc.’s washers are harming the domestic industry.
The U.S. authority’s announcement followed a four-month investigation that was kicked off by a safeguard petition proposed by Whirlpool.
Whirlpool said Samsung and LG should be slapped with a tariff of 50 percent over the next three years and that Washington should come up with strong protectionist policies to induce Samsung and LG to produce washers in the U.S.
Taking a step further, Whirlpool also said the tariff should be imposed on washers’ parts as well to prevent the South Korean firms from just assembling products in the U.S.
Since its announcement, the ITC has been making steps to come up with detailed measures to be submitted to President Donald Trump, who has been demanding a review of various trade agreements in line with his “America First” policies.
Samsung and LG have been protesting against such steps, saying the protectionism measures will limit U.S. consumers’ choices. The two companies also claimed that they are also building factories in the U.S. that are hoped to generate more jobs.
Samsung’s home appliances factory under construction in South Carolina is expected to be ready for operation in January. LG Electronics’ construction of the washer factory in Tennessee is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
The ITC plans to hold another hearing in Washington on Thursday (U.S. time).