The European Union, Mexico and other foreign governments are blasting the premise behind a U.S. International Trade Commission safeguard investigation into large residential washer imports, arguing it violates U.S. commitments under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.
[Isabelle Hoagland| September 1, 2017 | Inside US Trade]
In briefs filed with the ITC before a Sept. 7 injury hearing on the case, several foreign governments pointed to the WTO’s Agreement on Safeguards, as well as NAFTA provisions that provide preferential exclusions to member countries based on import volumes, in arguing that the investigation — being conducted under the Trade Act of 1974 — is not in line with the U.S. international obligations.
The Section 201 investigation began after a petition was filed in May by Whirlpool. The U.S. company claims that Samsung and LG washers have repeatedly relocated their production facilities to avoid antidumping duties levied by the Commerce Department.
The ITC launched the investigation on June 13, assessing whether imports of large residential washers are a “substantial cause of serious injury, or the threat thereof” to the domestic industry.
This investigation marks the second time the Section 201 safeguard tool has been considered since 2001. A safeguard probe into solar imports was initiated roughly a month before.