On May 31, 2017, Petitioner Whirlpool Corporation filed a Petition for Global Safeguard Relief Pursuant to Sections 201-202 of the Trade Act of 1974 on imports of Large Residential Washers.
SCOPE OF INVESTIGATION
The imported products covered by this Petition are all large residential washers and certain parts thereof, which is the same product scope covered by the recently completed antidumping investigation of Large Residential Washers from China. For purposes of this petition, the term “large residential washers” denotes all automatic clothes washing machines, regardless of the orientation of the rotational axis, with a cabinet width (measured from its widest point) of at least 24.5 inches (62.23 cm) and no more than 32.0 inches (81.28 cm), except as noted below.
Also covered are certain parts used in large residential washers, namely: (1) all cabinets, or portions thereof, designed for use in large residential washers; (2) all assembled tubs designed for use in large residential washers which incorporate, at a minimum: (a) a tub; and (b) a seal; (3) all assembled baskets designed for use in large residential washers which incorporate, at a minimum: (a) a side wrapper; (b) a base; and (c) a drive hub; and (4) any combination of the foregoing parts or subassemblies.
Excluded are stacked washer-dryers and commercial washers. The term “stacked washer-dryers” denotes distinct washing and drying machines that are built on a unitary frame and share a common console that controls both the washer and the dryer. The term “commercial washer” denotes an automatic clothes washing machine designed for the “pay per use” segment meeting either of the following two definitions:
(1) (a) it contains payment system electronics; (b) it is configured with an externally mounted steel frame at least six inches high that is designed to house a coin/token operated payment system (whether or not the actual coin/token operated payment system is installed at the time of importation); ( c) it contains a push button user interface with a maximum of six manually selectable wash cycle settings, with no ability of the end user to otherwise modify water temperature, water level, or spin speed for a selected wash cycle setting; and ( d) the console containing the user interface is made of steel and is assembled with security fasteners; or
(2) (a) it contains payment system electronics; (b) the payment system electronics are enabled (whether or not the payment acceptance device has been installed at the time of importation) such that, in normal operation, the unit cannot begin a wash cycle without first receiving a signal from a bona fide payment acceptance device such as an electronic credit card reader; ( c) it contains a push button user interface with a maximum of six manually selectable wash cycle settings, with no ability of the end user to otherwise modify water temperature, water level, or spin speed for a selected wash cycle setting; and ( d) the console containing the user interface is made of steel and is assembled with security fasteners.
Also excluded are automatic clothes washing machines that meet all of the following conditions: (1) have a vertical rotational axis; (2) are top loading; (3) have a drive train consisting, inter alia, of (a) a permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor, (b) a belt drive, and (c) a flat wrap spring clutch.
Also excluded are automatic clothes washing machines that meet all of the following conditions: (1) have a horizontal rotational axis; (2) are front loading; and (3) have a drive train consisting, inter alia, of (a) a controlled induction motor (CIM), and (b) a belt drive.
Also excluded are automatic clothes washing machines that meet all of the following conditions: (1) have a horizontal rotational axis; (2) are front loading; and (3) have cabinet width (measured from its widest point) of more than 28.5 inches (72.39 cm).
The products subject to this petition are currently classified under subheadings 8450.20.0040 and 8450.20.0080 of the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (“HTSUS”). Subheading 8450.20.0040 provides for household washing machines “exceeding 10 kg … top loading,” and has a current duty rate of 1 percent ad valorem. Subheading 8450.20.0080 provides for front load household washing machines “exceeding 10 kg … other,” and has a current duty rate of 1 percent ad valorem.
Covered parts and subassemblies described in the scope of the petition enter under HTSUS subheadings 8450.90.2000, which provides for washing machine “parts: tubs and tub assemblies,” and 8450.90.6000, which provides for washing machine “parts: other,” with a duty rate of 2.6 percent ad valorem.
PETITIONER Whirlpool Corporation 2000 M-63 North Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022
COUNSEL FOR PETITIONER Jack A. Levy CASSIDY LEVY KENT (USA) LLP 2000 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Suite 3000 Washington, DC 20006
IMPORTS OF SUBJECT MERCHANDISE For Petitioner’s import data summary, please see Attachment I.
NAMED DOMESTIC PRODUCERS For a list of domestic producers alleged by Petitioner, please see Attachment II.
SECTION 201, TRADE ACT OF 1974 (GLOBAL SAFEGUARD INVESTIGATIONS), IMPORT RELIEF FOR DOMESTIC INDUSTRIES Under section 201, domestic industries seriously injured or threatened with serious injury by increased imports may petition the USITC for import relief. The USITC determines whether an article is being imported in such increased quantities that it is a substantial cause of serious injury, or threat thereof, to the U.S. industry producing an article like or directly competitive with the imported article. If the Commission makes an affirmative determination, it recommends to the President relief that would prevent or remedy the injury and facilitate industry adjustment to import competition. The President makes the final decision whether to provide relief and the amount of relief.
Section 201 does not require a finding of an unfair trade practice, as do the antidumping and countervailing duty laws and section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. However, the injury requirement under section 201 is considered to be more difficult than those of the unfair trade statutes. Section 201 requires that the injury or threatened injury be “serious” and that the increased imports must be a “substantial cause” (important and not less than any other cause) of the serious injury or threat of serious injury.
Criteria for import relief under section 201 are based on those in article XIX of the GATT, as further defined in the WTO Agreement on Safeguards. Article XIX of the GATT is sometimes referred to as the escape clause because it permits a country to “escape” temporarily from its obligations under the GATT with respect to a particular product when increased imports of that product are causing or are threatening to cause serious injury to domestic producers. Section 201 provides the legal framework under U.S. law for the President to invoke U.S. rights under article XIX.
Duration: The USITC generally must make its injury finding within 120 days (150 days in more complicated cases) of receipt of the petition, request, resolution, or institution on its own motion and must transmit its report to the President, together with any relief recommendations, within 180 days after receipt of the petition, request, resolution, or institution on its own motion.
Finding: If the USITC finding is affirmative, it must recommend a remedy to the President, who determines what relief, if any, will be imposed. Such relief may be in the form of a tariff increase, quantitative restrictions, or orderly marketing agreements.
Actions by Respondents: Respondents must organize their efforts quickly in order to prepare briefs and prepare witnesses for the ITC hearing, organize an analysis of the proper remedy to be imposed if the ITC finds injury, and determine the most compelling arguments in persuading the President not to impose relief if the ITC ultimately recommends import relief.