The International Trade Commission has issued its statutorily-required assessment of the effectiveness of the safeguard measure on imports of large residential washers and certain parts thereof – which was in place during Feb. 7, 2018-Feb. 7, 2023 – in facilitating positive adjustment by the domestic industry to import competition.

The ITC found that since the safeguard measure was put in place the domestic industry as a whole increased capacity, production, U.S. shipments, market share, and employment; its financial performance improved; and prices for large residential washers were generally higher. However, capacity utilization decreased and unit labor costs increased.

The domestic industry’s select residential washer capacity and production increased during 2018-22 as new entrant U.S. producers ramped up production. However, production did not keep pace with the increase in capacity, resulting in declining capacity utilization during 2018-22. New entrant U.S. producers’ select residential washer capacity increased during 2018-22, while continuous U.S. producers’ select residential washer capacity fluctuated throughout the period, with an overall slight increase in 2022 compared to 2018.

Driven by the two new entrants, the domestic industry’s U.S. shipments and its share of apparent U.S. consumption of select residential washers increased by quantity (full units) and value during 2018-22. However, continuous U.S. producers’ U.S. shipments and share of apparent U.S. consumption decreased by quantity and value.

The ITC adds that prices for domestically produced LRWs generally increased after the safeguard measure was established. Prices for U.S.-produced LRWs increased slightly during the early years of the measure (2018 into early 2019), decreased through 2020, and increased again into 2022 to levels higher than in 2017, prior to the imposition of the safeguard. According to the ITC, this increase partly reflects the domestic industry’s efforts to cover the large increase in raw material costs in 2021 and 2022. The average unit values of U.S. shipments by the domestic industry also increased between 2018 and 2022.

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