Today, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) unanimously ruled in favor of Whirlpool and determined that large residential washers produced by Samsung and LG in China were illegally imported into the United States for less than they cost to make. This decision came after Congressman Pat Tiberi submitted testimony to the USITC on December 7, 2016, on behalf of Ohio Whirlpool workers who were hurt by China’s unfair trade practices.
Following today’s announcement, Rep. Tiberi released the following statement:
“In December, I asked the USITC to protect Whirlpool’s ability to compete against foreign competitors who were violating our trade laws and undercutting Ohio manufacturers. Today’s decision is great news for our state, especially for our Whirlpool workers in Clyde. Rest assured, I will continue to fight to ensure our trade laws are strictly enforced to protect and create new opportunities for Ohio workers.”
Excerpts from his submitted testimony on December 7, 2016:
“Today’s hearing is critical to my home state of Ohio where Whirlpool operates its washers facility in Clyde. The Clyde factory is a crown jewel of American manufacturing. It is a highly efficient plant producing a great product and employing outstanding workers.
“I’ve had the opportunity to visit Whirlpool facilities and meet with Whirlpool employees. During my visit, I was struck by the passion of the workforce to innovate and produce outstanding products. I was reminded of my father, who was a member of the United Steelworkers union for 25 years, and who, like his co-workers, took pride in what he did.”
“What Whirlpool is asking for is the opportunity to compete against fairly traded imports. When you’re stuck competing against unfairly traded imports, decisions to reinvest in the plant and your people become more and more difficult. Losses pile up and soon plants close.
“When foreign manufacturers willfully skirt regulation, they stifle innovation, investment, and choice for consumers. Samsung and LG are repeat offenders of U.S. trade laws. Whirlpool has had to come before you twice to force these competitors to sell at fair prices in the United States.
“No U.S. manufacturer should be expected to reduce its prices to below-cost levels in order to compete with foreign production. This is why we need to strictly enforce our trade laws. Recently, Congress passed trade legislation designed to strengthen the U.S. government’s enforcement and administration of the trade laws. The Commission and the Commerce Department must use the tools available to enforce free and fair trade that rewards domestic investment.”