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South Korean government to support Samsung, LG in washer imports scrutiny

The South Korean government will work with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc. to defend imports of the two companies' washing machines in the U.S., Yonhap News Agency reported Oct. 11.

The report said South Korea's trade and foreign ministries met with Samsung and LG to discuss countermeasures after the U.S. International Trade Commission, or ITC, had earlier concluded that increased imports of large residential washers from the two electronics companies hurt U.S. producers.

The probe was conducted after American electronics maker Whirlpool Corp. filed a safeguard petition to seek an investigation into the practices of Samsung and LG to allegedly avoid U.S. trade laws.

The ITC's decision could lead to a rise in import duties or quotas for the two companies, the report said.

The meeting between the South Korean government and Samsung and LG reportedly focused on tackling the decision of the ITC and remedies, which will be discussed at a public hearing in Washington on Oct. 19.

"We are in agreement that the import restrictions on Korean washers would limit American consumers' choice and raise product prices," the trade ministry was quoted as saying in a release. "We will also highlight local companies' decision to invest in U.S. factories that can create more jobs there."

Samsung and LG sell about 2 million washing machines in the U.S. every year, which accounts for a 35% market share, according to the report.