This week, President Donald Trump announced a tariff on imports of large residential washing machines in response to a pattern of trade violations by companies such as LG and Samsung, which repeatedly exported their washers to the United States at prices that were considered unfair.
“This announcement is a huge victory for Whirlpool’s approximately 10,000 workers in Ohio, particularly the more than 3,000 people who manufacture washing machines at our Clyde facility and the thousands more who depend on that operation for their livelihood,” Whirlpool North America Vice President Aaron Spira said. “Whirlpool has a 106-year commitment to American manufacturing, and this trade decision will allow us to invest even more in our plants and in our people. We are extremely grateful to Senator Brown and all the other members of the Ohio delegation who worked so hard to make this happen,” Spira said.
Since 2012, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) have teamed up to fight against unfair trade practices that have harmed Whirlpool, including calling for the Trump Administration’s most recent action.
“At a time when we’ve seen far too much partisan gridlock in Washington, Senator Portman and I worked together to support Whirlpool workers in Clyde,” Brown said. “The Trump administration followed my and Senator Portman’s calls to stand up for the 3,500 Ohio workers at Whirlpool whose jobs have been threatened by cheap Chinese imports. And because of that victory, 200 new jobs are coming to the Whirlpool plant in Clyde.”
“I am pleased that the president and the U.S. Trade Representative have taken decisive action to level the playing field and protect American jobs,” Portman said. “After moving their production from overseas back to Clyde, Ohio, Whirlpool has had to fight a series of cases against companies who would rather cheat than compete. Senator Brown and I fought for Whirlpool’s hardworking Ohio employees earlier this month, and I am pleased to see that much of our recommendation is reflected in today’s remedy.”
In September, Brown and Portman testified on behalf of Ohio Whirlpool workers in a trade case at the International Trade Commission (ITC).
In October, the ITC ruled in favor of Whirlpool.
Following the ruling, Brown and Portman sent a letter to U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer urging trade relief for Ohio Whirlpool workers.
At a White House signing ceremony Tuesday, Trump imposed remedies to protect against surging imports of washing machines.
“This is a great day for American workers in Ohio and beyond,” Whirlpool Chairman Jeff M. Fettig said Tuesday. “Today’s announcement sends a strong message that the U.S. government will crack down on companies that violate our trade rules. We thank and congratulate members of the Ohio delegation for making such a strong stand on behalf of the more than 3,000 workers at the Whirlpool facility in Clyde, Ohio, and the thousands more whose livelihoods depend on that plant. We could not have done this without their support. Their hard work will send a strong message to any countries and companies that break our trade laws and the workers throughout Ohio who depend on their staunch support.”
In October 2016, Brown and Portman wrote to then-U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, urging her to take action against the flood of unfairly traded washing machine imports that are harming U.S. manufacturers and their workers, including the Whirlpool plant in Clyde.
Brown’s legislation, the Leveling the Playing Field Act, signed into law in June 2015, has restored 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.
The law led to key wins for Ohio steel companies in major trade cases last year on cold-rolled, hot-rolled, and corrosion-resistant steel, including U.S. Steel, Nucor, ArcelorMittal, and AK Steel, which together employ more than 8,200 Ohio workers.
“This is welcome news for the thousands of Whirlpool workers in Clyde, Ohio, whose jobs have been threatened by a surge of cheap washers,” Brown said. “These tariffs will help level the playing field, and show anyone who tries to cheat our trade laws that they won’t get away with it. I applaud the Administration for this strong relief, and will continue to work to strengthen our trade laws so this cheating can’t happen in the first place.”
Brown and Portman worked to get the Leveling the Playing Field Act signed into law in June 2015, 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. The law led to key wins for Ohio steel companies in major trade cases last year on cold-rolled, hot-rolled, and corrosion-resistant steel, including U.S. Steel, Nucor, ArcelorMittal, and AK Steel, which together employ more than 8,200 Ohio workers.