Brown, Portman Seek Trade Relief for Ohio Whirlpool Workers

Senators Urged International Trade Commission to Rule in Favor of Workers, Now they Want to See Real Remedies against Unfair Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) successfully urged the International Trade Commission (ITC) to rule that workers at Whirlpool’s Clyde, OH plant had been hurt by unfair washing machine imports by Samsung and LG. Now, as the ITC meets to consider potential relief, the Senators are asking ITC to make a strong recommendation to President Trump that will provide broad relief for the U.S. washing machine industry in response to the pattern of violations by companies like LG and Samsung.

“We urge you to fully enforce U.S. trade law and recommend strong trade remedies. Doing so will ensure that workers and manufacturers in our state have an opportunity to compete within a fair domestic marketplace,” said the Senators in a letter sent this week ahead of today’s ITC meeting. “More than 3,000 of Whirlpool’s employees work in Clyde, Ohio, where they make washing machines. These workers’ livelihoods are directly threatened by the nefarious practices of Samsung and LG, and we must continue to fight back against these foreign competitors who are attempting to cheat our trade system.”

The case sought broad relief for the U.S. washing machine industry in response to the pattern of violations by companies like LG and Samsung who’ve repeatedly exported their washers to the U.S. at unfair prices. Today, ITC is holding a hearing to determine whether remedies should be put in place to give the domestic industry the relief they need from washer imports. They will make a final decision on the remedies next month and make a recommendation on those remedies to the President in December.

Brown and Portman both testified at ITC on behalf of Whirlpool, and urged ITC to take make this positive ruling.

Since 2012, Ohio’s Senators have fought against these unfair trade practices that have harmed Whirlpool, and most recently helped secure relief in a case against washing machine imports from China.

The Leveling the Playing Field Act that Brown introduced and worked with Portman to pass was signed into law in June 2015, restoring strength to antidumping and countervailing duty statutes that allow businesses and workers in the United States to petition the Commerce Department and the ITC when foreign producers sell goods in the U.S. below market price or receive illegal subsidies. The law led to key wins for Ohio steel companies in major trade cases last year on cold-rolled, hot-rolled, and corrosion-resistant steel, including U.S. Steel, Nucor, ArcelorMittal, and AK Steel, which together employ more than 8,200 Ohio workers. 

Read the full letter below and here.

 

The Honorable Rhonda K. Schmidtlein

Chairman

United States International Trade Commission

500 E Street, SW

Washington, D.C. 20436

Re: Investigation No. TA-201-76 (Large Residential Washers)

Dear Chairman Schmidtlein:

As you review the Section 201 case regarding large residential washers, we urge you to fully enforce U.S. trade law and recommend strong trade remedies. Doing so will ensure that workers and manufacturers in our state have an opportunity to compete within a fair domestic marketplace.

Given the facts of this case, we applaud your October 5, 2017 decision, which confirmed that an influx of washing machines from foreign producers Samsung and LG had harmed American manufacturers and workers. But more remains to be done. Both Samsung and LG have a long history of unlawful dumping, and without strong trade remedies, they will continue their behavior and put American jobs at risk.

This issue is particularly crucial for Ohio. Whirlpool Corp., one of the companies seeking relief in this case, employs 10,000 Ohioans at its facilities in Marion, Findlay, Ottawa, and Greenville. More than 3,000 of Whirlpool’s employees work in Clyde, Ohio, where they make washing machines. These workers’ livelihoods are directly threatened by the nefarious practices of Samsung and LG, and we must continue to fight back against these foreign competitors who are attempting to cheat our trade system.

We know you share our commitment to enforcing a level playing field. That’s why we urge you to provide relief for U.S. workers and manufacturers and recommend strong trade remedies in this case.

We thank you for your consideration, and look forward to continuing to work with you on behalf of Ohio’s workers and manufacturers.

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