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S. Korean washer makers vow legal action against U.S. duties
By Lee Minji
SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean home appliance makers said Thursday they plan to take legal action against the U.S. trade agency's decision to levy anti-dumping duties on their washing machines for harming the American industry.

   The move comes after the U.S. International Trade Commission approved a December decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to set anti-dumping duties for Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. at 9.29 percent and 13.02 percent, respectively.

   The trade body said South Korean companies were among manufacturers that injured the U.S. industry by selling their washing machines at less than fair value. Under the unanimous decision, the U.S. department will issue a countervailing duty order on imports from Korea and anti-dumping duty orders on products from Korea and Mexico, according to a press release.

   South Korean manufacturers pledged to counter the decision, which they claim sides with U.S. home appliance giant Whirlpool Corp., which first petitioned the case.

   In a statement, Samsung Electronics Co. said it is "disappointed" with the decision and said "the finding of domestic industry injury is inconsistent with Samsung's premium product strategy."

   A company official added that the South Korean home appliance giant will consider all possible legal measures to counter the "unjust" move.

   Meanwhile, an LG Electronics Inc. spokeswoman said the company is considering taking the case to the U.S. trade court or the World Trade Organization.

   The two companies together control 36.8 percent of the U.S. market, compared with Whirpool's 14.8 percent share, according to the data by market researcher The Stevenson Company.