Portman, Brown urge safeguards for Ohio’s Whirlpool workers


WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter to the International Trade Commission (ITC) urging them to support the extension of the current washing machine safeguard.

Portman and Brown have fought against unfair trade practices that have harmed Whirlpool. In 2012, Portman and Brown sent a letter urging the Commerce Department to defend Whirlpool, which returned all production to the United States in 2008. Portman and Brown also provided testimony to the ITC on three separate occasions on behalf of Whirlpool. In response to evidence of foreign companies dumping their washers in the U.S. market, the ITC heeded the senators’ concerns and penalized those foreign companies with anti-dumping tariffs. Most recently, the senators testified before the ITC in June of 2019 in support of continuing the Section 201 safeguard to level the playing field for Ohio’s Whirlpool workers.

Portman and Brown worked together on the Enforce and Protect Act and the Leveling the Playing Field Act, legislation that is paying dividends for Ohio’s workers, 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.

“For almost a decade, we have fought to support the washing machine industry in the United States on behalf of our 10,000 constituents employed by Whirlpool Corporation at their five locations throughout Ohio. After many trade cases, and repeated country hopping by foreign producers, we were pleased with the Commission’s safeguard determination in December 2017… We believe that for the safeguard to reach its intended effect, and for the industry to continue to invest in its people, plants, and products, the safeguard remedy should be extended,” wrote the senators.

“Doing so will be critical for Ohio. Whirlpool Corporation employs 3,000 workers making washing machines in Clyde, and another 7,000 spread across facilities in Marion, Findley, Ottawa, and Greenville. The extension and modification of the safeguard is crucial for the economic, social, and civic health of each of these communities,” they added.

“We urge you to thoughtfully consider Whirlpool’s request to extend and strengthen the safeguard to maximize its benefits for the domestic industry and its workers, and thank you for your steadfast support of American jobs.”



Staff report

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