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Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

The decision is a victory for Whirlpool, which employs 22,000 people in the United States.

It’s no big secret around these parts that countries like China frequently dump undervalued products onto the U.S. market, all at the expense of American workers and companies.

When we talk about China’s unfair trade practices, we most often are talking about big industrial things, like steel or aluminum. But China also dumps stuff into the U.S. market that you might see at your local department store, like furniture.

Or, in the case that the Commerce Department recently ruled upon, washing machines.

Commerce ruled on Friday that it will continue to impose duties on washing machines that were made in China for Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. The decision stems from a trade complaint filed in December 2015 by Whirlpool Corp., which alleged the two South Korean companies sold their machines in the United States for less than they cost to produce.

The ruling would impose antidumping margins of 52.51 percent for Samsung and 32.12 percent for LG. The trade case now heads to the International Trade Commission, which is expected to weigh in next month, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The ruling is a victory for Whirlpool’s American employees, including the 3,000 who make washing machines at a plant in Ohio. Here’s Jeff Fettig, the company’s chairman and CEO:

The Commerce Department’s ruling is an important victory in the continuing efforts to hold companies accountable when they systematically violate trade laws to gain a competitive advantage. We are strongly committed to the application and enforcement of trade laws, which support fair competition, a solid U.S. manufacturing base and continued investments in innovation that improve the lives of our consumers.

As we noted earlier this year, Whirlpool has worked hard to reshore jobs over the past several years, including by investing $40.6 million to expand a dishwasher plant and $1.4 billion overall on facility and plant upgrades in the United States since 2010. Another $40 million expansion of a Whirlpool plant is slated to create 400 new jobs by 2018.

More than 22,000 people are employed by Whirlpool in the United States, according to the company, including 15,000 of whom work at the company's nine U.S. manufacturing sites. More than 80 percent of what the company sells is now assembled in the United States, too.

Whirlpool is working hard to invest in the United States, creating manufacturing jobs and providing an economic boost to communities. All that the company is seeking is the opportunity to sell its products on the open market in a fair manner.  The Commerce Department’s decision was fair and correct; the ITC should follow suit and uphold it.