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Whirlpool wins ITC decision in anti-dumping case

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a final ruling Wednesday determining that Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and other foreign manufacturers have been selling washing machines in the U.S. at below their market value, hurting the U.S. industry. The decision means the U.S. government will impose duties on imports of the washing machines.

Whirlpool Corp. filed a complaint against its competitors in 2011 claiming washing machines imported from South Korea and Mexico were being sold at prices below fair market value, a practice known as dumping. Dumping is illegal under U.S. trade law and companies can seek duties to counteract it.

Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., is the world's biggest appliance maker. It filed several complaints against imports from South Korea and Mexico after recently locating more of its own production in the U.S.

The ITC decision follows a Department of Commerce final ruling in December that also found the manufacturers were selling clothes washers in the U.S. at less than fair value. The ITC will send its official report to Commerce, which will then issue an anti-dumping order against the companies.

Whirlpool North America President Marc Bitzer said the decision is a victory for the U.S. appliance industry and that he expects it will restore a level competitive playing field.

Washing-machine imports from Samsung, LG, as well as Daewoo and Electrolux will face tariffs in the range of 11 percent to 151 percent.

Samsung said in a statement that is disappointed with the decision. It said the move will ultimately reduce choice in washers for some American consumers. Representatives for LG, Daewoo and Electrolux did not respond to a request for comment.

Whirlpool's shares rose $3.78, nearly 4 percent, to close at $107.70. Earlier in the day, the shares hit a 52-week high of $108.17.