The United States is still imposing anti-dumping duties on Korean washing machines although the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the anti-dumping duties were a violation of WTO rules.
According to the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the US has not yet followed through on a ruling of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) that says that anti-dumping duties imposed on Korean washers in 2013 went against the WTO’s anti-dumping agreement. The US imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties of 9.29% and 13.2%, respectively, on washers manufactured by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics in Korea in February 2013.
The Korean government sued the US government in the WTO in August 2013, claiming that the US had inflated Korean companies’ dumping margins with the zeroing method prohibited by the anti-dumping agreement. The WTO Dispute Settlement Agency ruled in favor of the Korean government in the first round of the hearing in March last year. The WTO Appeal Body in charge of the second round of hearings triggered by the United States also ruled in September that the US’s imposition of the duties violates the agreement so Korea won the case once again.
Parties in a WTO dispute must implement the WTO’s ruling within a reasonable period of time. The WTO gave the United States 15 months, the maximum period allowed for a party of a dispute. This deadline is December 26 of this year.
Therefore, the Korean government is urging the US to withdraw the tariffs this year. The United States expressed its intention to implement it but is still levying tariffs on Korean washers in accordance with a decision by the US Department of Commerce in 2013.
According to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), the US Department of Commerce decided to levy no duty on LG Electronics washers and 82.35% duties on Samsung Electronics washers in 2015 and 2016 annual reviews, and finally confirmed the duties in September this year. The dumping margin of LG Electronics washers fell to 1.52% as the US Department of Commerce recalculated the margin. If a dumping margin falls short of 2%, the margin comes to correspond to the micro margin which puts an end to an anti-dumping investigation and imposes no duty.
However, the US Department of Commerce imposed a high tariff of 82.35% on Samsung Electronics washers, citing the fact that Samsung Electronics did not cooperate with the ITC such as not handing over materials and data demanded by the ITC to the ITC. The US trial did not deal any practical damage to Samsung Electronics since Samsung Electronics already moved its washing machine factories overseas. It seems that Samsung Electronics judged that it would be better not to pay legal and accounting cost for responding to the ITC’s investigation under the circumstances where Samsung Electronics did not export washers from Korea any longer.