Normally when you hear about companies like Samsung and LG on the receiving end of accusations from fellow companies, you expect Apple, Google, or another fellow tech giant to be the one pointing fingers. Today, Samsung and LG lost a battle with the US International Trade Commission for trade practices that “caused injury” to the US appliances industry. The company that initially prompted the over year-long investigation? None other than Whirlpool.
Whirlpool alleged that by selling washing machines in the US that were made in China, and also sold at a loss, Samsung and LG were actively damaging US appliance makers. “Today’s vote follows a U.S. Department of Commerce ruling last month that Samsung and LG violated U.S. and international trade laws by dumping clothes washers from China into the United States,” Whirlpool said in a statement. “Samsung and LG now must pay antidumping duties at the substantial rates set by the DOC ─ margins of 52.51 percent for Samsung and 32.12 percent for LG.”
Whirlpool’s stance is that by dumping the ultra-cheap appliances in the US, other companies simply can’t compete without making major cutbacks and potentially letting employees go. The company is, as you might expect, very encouraged by the outcome of the investigation, which resulted in a unanimous vote by the International Trade Commission.
But what’s possibly even more troubling than the case itself is that this isn’t the first time it’s happened — and not just in the industry, but to Samsung and LG specifically. In 2013, both companies were found guilty of doing the same exact thing, but with washing machines manufactured in Korea and Mexico. Whirlpool alleges that the two appliance makers shifted their production to China as a loophole to allow them to continue the practice.