The U.S. International Trade Commission unanimously ruled on Thursday that domestic producers are being harmed by surging washing machine imports from Samsung Electronics and LG Eletronics.
This comes after American appliance giant Whirlpool called for measures to stop its Korean rivals from flooding the local market with cheaper products.
Safeguard measures include imposing tariffs or setting a cap on imports, and are used to protect a local industry from either a sudden jump in foreign competition or unfair trade practices.
In 2016, Samsung and LG exported around 1-billion U.S. dollars worth of large home washing machines to the U.S., with the two firms combined taking up more than 30 percent of the total market share for washing machines in the country.
Both Samsung and LG issued statements saying import restrictions would hurt U.S. consumers by raising prices and limiting choice.
They also argued that the Trump administration risks sending a signal to foreign investors, if it approves restrictions on imports, that could end up targeting not just finished products but also global supply chains.
The ITC is set to hold a public hearing on October 19th on possible remedies and will give its recommendation on the matter to President Trump by December.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.