NEW YORK South Korea is challenging the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over import duties on washing machines, saying that the U.S. Commerce Departments use of "zeroing" is inconsistent with international agreements.
Under WTO rules, the United States must respond to Koreas complaint within 10 days and the two countries then will enter into discussions. If the countries cannot reach a resolution, Korea can request that a dispute settlement body be formed.
Opponents of zeroing say the methodology inflates anti-dumping margins by ignoring products that are sold above the normal calculation value. Supporters argue that the practice ensures that margins on fairly traded merchandise are not improperly used to offset a foreign producers dumping margins on merchandise sold at less-than-fair value.
Commerce issued dumping margins on imports of large residential washers from Mexico and South Korea of between 9.29 and 82.41 percent and countervailing duties ranging from 1.85 to 32.3 percent on Korean companies (amm.com, Feb. 14).
The United States announced in February 2012 that it would settle several disputes at the WTO, including complaints by Korea, after amending its zeroing methodology (amm.com, Feb. 28, 2012).