WASHINGTON, D.C. — On a news conference call today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Whirlpool North America Vice President Aaron Spira as the Trump Administration heeds Brown and Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) call to stand up for Ohio workers at the Whirlpool plant in Clyde. This week, the President announced a tariff on imports of large residential washing machines in response to a pattern of trade violations by companies like LG and Samsung who’ve repeatedly exported their washers to the U.S. at unfair prices.
- Whirlpool expects this week’s announcement to create 200 new jobs at the Whirlpool facility in Clyde.
“At a time when we’ve seen far too much partisan gridlock in Washington, Senator Portman and I worked together to support Whirlpool workers in Clyde,” said Brown. “The Trump administration followed my and Senator Portman’s calls to stand up for the 3,500 Ohio workers at Whirlpool whose jobs have been threatened by cheap Chinese imports. And because of that victory, 200 new jobs are coming to the Whirlpool plant in Clyde.”
Since 2012, Brown and Portman have teamed up to fight against unfair trade practices that have harmed Whirlpool, including calling for the Administration’s most recent action.
- In September 2017, Brown testified on behalf of Ohio Whirlpool workers in a trade case at the International Trade Commission (ITC). In October, the ITC ruled in favor of Whirlpool.
- Following the ITO ruling, Brown and Portman sent a letter to U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer urging trade relief for Ohio Whirlpool workers.
Brown was joined on the call by Aaron Spira, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Whirlpool North America to discuss why this announcement is important for Whirlpool workers in Clyde.
“This announcement is a huge victory for Whirlpool’s approximately 10,000 workers in Ohio, particularly the more than 3,000 people who manufacture washing machines at our Clyde facility and the thousands more who depend on that operation for their livelihood. Whirlpool has a 106-year commitment to American manufacturing, and this trade decision will allow us to invest even more in our plants and in our people. We are extremely grateful to Senator Brown and all the other members of the Ohio delegation who worked so hard to make this happen,” said Spira.
In October 2016, Brown and Portman wrote to then-U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, urging her to take action against the flood of unfairly traded washing machine imports that are harming U.S. manufacturers and their workers, including the Whirlpool plant in Clyde.
Brown’s legislation, the Leveling the Playing Field Act, signed into law in June 2015, has restored 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.