Portman Ramps Up Pressure on Commerce Department to Protect Ohio Workers
April 27, 2016 - 11:49 AM
From the office of Senator Portman
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
sent a letter urging the Secretary of Commerce to protect Ohio workers
by updating the tariff rates to better reflect market changes since an
initial anti-dumping order in 2013 on imported Large Residential Washers
(LRWs) from Korea.
“When Ohio companies like Whirlpool return home and invest in our
communities, the government should have their back and enforce our trade
laws against unfair and unscrupulous foreign companies,” Senator Portman said.
“For years, Whirlpool has faced an uneven playing field because of
unfair practices by their overseas competitors. I was pleased to see the
International Trade Commission levy duties on those unfair competitors
in 2013, and now the time has come to update those duties to reflect
changes since the initial ITC ruling. This will ensure that companies
like Whirlpool, and its workers, are protected.”
NOTE: Senator Portman has worked closely with
Whirlpool and its’ 10,000 Ohio employees to combat unfair foreign
trading practices. In 2012, Portman sent a letter
urging the Commerce Department to defend Whirlpool, which returned all
production to the United States in 2008. He also provided testimony to the ITC. In response to evidence of foreign companies dumping their washers in the U.S. market, the ITC heeded Portman’s concerns
and penalized those foreign companies with anti-dumping tariffs.
Senator Portman’s latest letter calls upon the Commerce Department to
update the tariff rates to reflect market and product changes since the
initial anti-dumping order.
Following is the full text of the letter, which can also be found here:
Dear Secretary Pritzker:
I am writing to you in connection with the Department of Commerce’s
recently initiated third administrative review of the antidumping duty
order on large residential washers (“LRWs”) from Korea.
The calculation of accurate dumping margins is paramount under our
antidumping law, and product comparisons grounded in appropriate “model
matches” is fundamental to fulfilling that mandate. While I understand
the Department has a preference for maintaining the same model match
criteria throughout the life of an order, it is imperative that the
Department modify those criteria when circumstances warrant.
Recent developments in the washers industry suggest that the
Department should reconsider its approach to “model matching.” For
example, since the original investigation, the Department has
distinguished washers that differ only slightly in capacity – by as
little as 0.1 cubic feet. I understand that washers sold today have
much greater capacity such that such slight differences in capacity may
not be commercially significant. In addition, the Department should
consider the implications of recent changes to Department of Energy
regulations governing capacity testing procedures and energy efficiency
standards on the Department’s product matching criteria such as
capacity. These changes took effect during the first quarter of 2015.
Given the importance of these developments in assessing the price
comparability of washers, I urge the Department to carefully consider
comments presented by parties and to modify its matching methodology as
appropriate to account for these recent developments in the third
I appreciate the Department’s work in investigating unfairly traded
imports. I trust that your team will focus its attention on this
important issue and continue to effectively administer the antidumping
order on LRWs from Korea. I would also appreciate an update on the
status of this review later this year.
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