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Preliminary Finding Says Japan Dumping Forklift Trucks

November 20, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Japanese companies are dumping forklift trucks at unfair prices in the United States, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The announcement came as Commerce Secretary C. William Verity was visiting Tokyo and telling Japanese officials that their aggressive export strategies are wrecking foreign industries.

Spokeswoman Patricia Woodward said a preliminary determination had found that Japanese forklift trucks are being sold in the United States ″at less than fair value,″ or the price they would be sold for in Japan.

The ruling was part of a series of steps by the department and the International Trade Commission that were set in moion last April when American industry and labor groups complained about the competing Japanese imports.

The trade commission has issued a preliminary finding that the American industry is being injured by the Japanese prices.

The department’s preliminary finding listed the percentages each Japanese company is selling in the United States below ″fair value″ in Japan. These percentages, which the department calls ″company-specific weighted-average dumping margins,″ were:

-Toyota Motor Corp. 20.46 percent.

-Nissan Motor Corp. 27.32 percent.

-Komatsu Forklift Co. Ltd. 24.43 percent.

-Sumitomo-Yale 9.82 percent.

-Toyo-Umpanki Co. 42.73 percent.

-Sanki Industrial Co. Ltd. 15.98 percent.

-Kasagi Forklift Inc. 56.81 percent.

-All others 24.03 percent.

As a result of the department’s preliminary finding, anti-dumping duties will be placed on future imports with an unfair price advantage over comparable domestic products, a department spokeswoman said.

U.S. Customs will require a cash deposit or bond on imports of internal combustion industry forklift trucks from Japan equal to the rated average dumping margins, the spokeswoman said.

The department is expected to make its final determination by Feb. 1, 1988. If it holds that the forklifts are being dumped, the trade commission must issue its final determination within 45 days on whether the imports materially injure or threaten material injury to the U.S. industry.

Imports of the forklift trucks from Japan in 1986 were valued at $235.7 million dollars, the Commerce Department said.

Verity’s visit to Japan comes at a time of renewed tension in U.S.-Japan trade relations following the department’s ruling that Japanese companies are dumping color television sets in the United States.

Last year, the U.S deficit in trade with Japan reached a record $58.6 billion, according to U.S. figures. Verity has called Japan’s trade surplus with the United States ″unsustainable.″

A spokeswoman said he told Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita on Thursday that Japan must refrain from its practice of seeking to dominate world exports by targeting key markets with a combination of government, industry and the banking resources.

″We are very pleased with today’s announcement,″ said J. Phillip Frazier, president of Hyster Co. of Portland. ″Enforcing trade laws in this way sends a clear signal to the Japanese that ‘dumping’ practices will no longer be tolerated.

″Our government’s prompt and efficient action in this complex case will help restore fairness to the marketplace, a goal we cited in filing our petition nearly seven months ago.″

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