Rockwell Asks for Anti-Dumping Duties

By Rosenberg, Jim | Editor & Publisher, July 29, 1995 | Go to article overview

Rockwell Asks for Anti-Dumping Duties


Rosenberg, Jim, Editor & Publisher


ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL Corp. has asked the government to slap duties on newspaper printing presses imported from foreign manufacturers for redress of what its Graphic Systems division president, Robert Swift, called "an egregious case of dumping to gain market share."

In an anti-dumping petition filed June 30, Rockwell asked the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose import duties of 165% and 67% on presses from Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Germany's MAN Roland, respectively.

Rockwell said both companies export presses to the U.S. "at prices substantially below their cost of production." Sale of presses "at substantially less than fair value" causes "material injury to the U.S. industry," according to Rockwell.

Also cited in the petition were Koenig & Bauer-Albert, Wurzburg, Germany, and Japan's TKS, which sells presses in the U.S. through TKS (U.S.A.) Inc., Richardson, Texas.

In announcing it had filed the petition, Rockwell highlighted the purchase earlier this year of eight 12-unit Mitsubishi tower presses, referring to the loss of "the largest single sale for the next several years."

According to the pressmaker's U.S. unit, Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses U.S.A. Inc., the sale is not only the biggest of its five to U.S. newspapers, but is also the first keyless offset sale in this country and the first sizable order for color towers rather than satellite units (E&P, June 24, p. 10).

The petition also was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which Rockwell said will issue a preliminary determination of material injury or threat to the domestic industry on Aug. 14. Anti-dumping duties, it said, may be imposed 160 days after the filing.

"The imposition takes a long time, but a very, very preliminary determination is made in 45 days," Rockwell senior vice president, general counsel and secretary William J. Calise Jr. said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Commerce Dept. supports about nine of 10 complaints of dumping, which the paper said is ordinarily enough to make importers raise prices rather than face steeper duties in the event the ITC agrees. The Journal reported the ITC finds injury to domestic industries in about half the cases it reviews.

Calise said much of the evidence contained in his company's six-inch-thick printed submission to the Commerce Dept. are expense calculations that estimate the competitors' production costs.

"We've got a lot of information because, for example, in Japan we produce presses, we know what it costs," said Calise, noting that Rockwell operates plants in Japan and in Europe.

"Of course, we know what we bid, and we know we lost, so we know theirs is below that," he said of competition for press sales. Confidential information in the filing includes Rockwell's own cost data and affidavits from Rockwell and unnamed "outsiders," according to Calise.

Offering relative rather than absolute numerical price comparisons, Calise said that the anti-dumping duties sought by Rockwell represent amounts required "to get us even."

"This one is not a close case," he continued, calling the alleged dumping "astronomical," even if Rockwell's numbers are off by as much as 20%.

Recent appreciations of Germany's mark and Japan's yen against the dollar have made those countries' exports more expensive in the U.S. The yen's rise has been especially dramatic. From early 1994 to early 1995 its value in dollars increased 25% to a 50-year high.

"Maybe when they started bidding it was only a third below their cost," said Calise, "but by the time it got done, with the yen going where it went, it was two-thirds below their cost."

Rumor of low Mitsubishi bid for the Post's business had been circulating since last winter. A week before Rockwell filed its petition, a representative of a pressmaker that competes in the Asian market told E&P that Mitsubishi's bid to the Post was believed to be 30% below what the dollar amount would have been -- excluding the appreciation of the yen over the prior 18 months. …

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