United States governor, congressman oppose safeguard on Samsung, LG

United States governor, congressman oppose safeguard on Samsung, LG

United States governor, congressman oppose safeguard on Samsung, LG

"They have cheated domestic producers before. I stand here to oppose the trade restriction on Samsung in any kind", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said at the public hearing held by the US International Trade Commission on Thursday.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation, along with Louisville, Kentucky-based GE Appliances -jointly purchased a year ago by China's Haier Group - on Thursday asked the U.S. International Trade Commission, or ITC, to recommend a 50-percent import duty on large residential washing machines during a "global safeguard" hearing of the ITC, according to a post yesterday by Reuters.

The commission on October 5 unanimously found that surging imports of large residential washers from Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics were injuring domestic producers.

Whirlpool attorney Jack Levy told the ITC that "a strong remedy would force the South Korean manufacturers to 'country hop one more time, to America, ' where they would compete more fairly and strengthen the US manufacturing base", Reuters reports.

LG attorney Daniel Porter told the panel the 50-percent tariff "would severely hurt LG and Samsung by shutting their imports out of the US market until they start USA production in 2019", Reuters reports. It is scheduled to make remedy recommendations by December 4 to Trump, who is expected to make final recommendation early next year.

"If South Korean companies' ground in the U.S.is weakened due to the safeguard, it may result in a delay in the operation of the factory now under construction", LG said.

Samsung and LG's combined share of the washing machine market in the U.S. rose to 31 percent in the first half of this year from 23 percent in 2014, while Whirlpool's share dropped to 37 percent from 41 percent during the same period, according to the United States market research company TraQline.

Porter said these factories would likely employ fewer workers if import restrictions kept Samsung and LG washers out of the US market for a year.

Porter called the request "raw, naked protectionism" that would only benefit Whirlpool.

Both sides brought out members of Congress representing their plant locations to help argue their cases.

"Samsung brought hope, they brought jobs, they put food on the table for many residents", said Representative Ralph Norman, a South Carolina Republican.

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