Portman, Brown urge trade relief for Ohio Whirlpool workers


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-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.

In October, the ITC made a determination of injury, and then presented a list of recommended remedies to Ambassador Lighthizer. As Ambassador Lighthizer considers those recommendations, the Senators are asking he make a strong recommendation to President Trump that will provide broad relief for the U.S. washing machine industry in response serial trade violations by companies like LG and Samsung.

“We are pleased to see the ITC find that there has been injury in this case, and that the ITC agreed that there should be no product exclusion as part of the remedy,” said the Senators in a letter sent this week ahead of today’s USTR hearing. “These findings form the basis of a strong remedy that helps American workers and communities, like Clyde, continue to grow, and we believe that with the inclusion of the above recommendations, this global safeguard action will be a success. Ultimately, a strong remedy in this case – one that embraces the aforementioned recommendations – will provide the level playing field that lets American companies, and workers, compete, and win.”

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, Ambassador Lighthizer is holding a hearing to determine what remedies should be put in place to give the domestic industry the relief they need from unfair washer imports. He will then make a recommendation on those remedies to the President.

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

Portman and Brown worked to get the Leveling the Playing Field Act 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.

Staff report

No posts to display