GREGG, SHAHEEN, SNOWE AND COLLINS URGE TRADE COMMISSION TO ENFORCE FAIR TRADE LAWS AND SUPPORT GOSS INTERNATIONAL

April 15, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Judd Gregg, Jeanne Shaheen, Olympia Snow, and Susan Collins today sent a letter in support of Goss International to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) urging action to restore trade remedies and enforce fair trade laws to ensure fair and competitive business practices for U.S. companies in the global economy. The letter specifically pertains to trade law violations of Japanese company Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho Ltd. (TSK) and the resulting legal dispute between TSK and American printing press manufacturer Goss International. The Commerce Department concluded three years ago that because of TSK’s fraudulent and illegal activity, trade remedies should be reinstated against large newspaper printing presses from Japan, thus ensuring confidence in the global market for U.S. companies. But the trade remedies cannot be restored without parallel action by the ITC.

 

“The ITC must act to enforce fair trade laws and ensure that Goss and other U.S. companies can compete globally on a level playing field,” stated Senators Gregg and Shaheen. “Our trade laws are meaningless if they can be violated without consequence. We urge the ITC to act and to protect our businesses from fraudulent, illegal trade activities.”

 

The full text of the letter follows:

 

April 14, 2009

 

The Honorable Shara L. Aranoff

Chairman

U.S. International Trade Commission

500 E Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20436

 

            Re:  Reconsideration of Sunset Review in Large Newspaper Printing Presses

                   from Japan to Address Fraud in Antidumping Proceedings

 

Dear Chairman Aranoff:

                We are writing on behalf of Goss International Corporation (“Goss International”), a U.S. producer of large newspaper printing presses (“LNPPs”), to respectfully request that the Commission consider initiating sunset review proceedings with respect to the antidumping duty order on LNPPs from Japan.  We understand that the Commission has declined to initiate such proceedings, despite the Department of Commerce’s affirmative results, which have been communicated to the Commission.  We are concerned that the Commission’s failure to initiate parallel proceedings in this case could unjustly reward a Japanese company that lied to a U.S. agency in order to evade our trade laws and avoid paying a trade duty.

 

            The Department of Commerce originally revoked the antidumping duty order in 2002.  However, after findings in a separate U.S. federal court case revealed that Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Ltd. (“TKS”), a Japanese producer of printing presses, attempted to conceal its dumping by agreeing to a fraudulent price increase, providing a secret rebate, and destroying documents, the Department initiated its own investigation of TKS’ conduct in Department proceedings.  Commerce found wrongdoing by TKS that it called “a uniquely egregious display of misconduct by a respondent in an antidumping proceeding.”  Commerce corrected the antidumping duty for TKS, changing it from zero to 59.67 percent.  The Department also determined, “[b]ecause TKS’ misconduct in the 1997-1998 administrative review was so egregious, it renders the results of the subsequent sunset review unreliable.”  The Department therefore initiated proceedings pursuant to its statutory authority to reconsider the sunset review.

            On November 6, 2008, the Department of Commerce issued its results in the reconsidered sunset review, finding that it should not have revoked the order, and that revocation of the order likely led to the continuation or recurrence of dumping. The Department found that it would be inappropriate to reinstate the order unilaterally without a determination by the Commission that the revocation would result in injury to the U.S. industry. Accordingly, the Department of Commerce communicated its results to the Commission.  On March 9, 2009, following the Commission’s decision not to reconsider its sunset proceeding, the Department sent a letter to the Commission explaining portions of the Department’s final results that may have been misinterpreted by the Commission.  The Department noted, “{w}e believe that these misunderstandings are so fundamental that the Commission may wish to reconsider its recent determination.”

            During the last four years, the Department of Commerce has taken deliberate and forceful steps to address and rectify wrongdoing by a foreign producer in a trade case.  The Department’s decisive actions to address the fraud committed by TKS are meaningless, however, without the initiation of parallel sunset proceedings by the Commission.

            We believe that the equities in this case call for the Commission to carefully consider the domestic producer Goss’ position.  Regardless of whether or not TKS committed fraud directly against the Commission, or only against the Department of Commerce, TKS’ misconduct caused the premature revocation of the antidumping duty order. Goss and its workers have been injured by TKS’ unfair trade practices, which led not only to the revocation of the antidumping order, but also to the bankruptcy of Goss Graphic Systems, the closure of a plant and the loss of thousands of high-paying, high-skilled jobs, and economic disruption to the communities involved.  TKS has not been held accountable for its actions, and the 59.67 percent duty has not been collected.  Allowing TKS to escape the consequences of its actions undermines our rules-based trading system and unjustly rewards a foreign company that engaged in egregious behavior aimed at undermining the trade relief that both the Department of Commerce and the Commission put in place.

            Goss International and its workers in our states seek a level playing field where internationally agreed rules are enforced.  The Commission has an essential role in ensuring that U.S. workers and industries who are injured by unfair trade have an effective and meaningful remedy.  Accordingly, we urge the Commission to carefully reconsider whether it should follow the Department of Commerce and initiate its own reconsideration of the sunset review of LNPPs from Japan.

Sincerely,

Senators Judd Gregg, Jeanne Shaheen, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins

Press Contact

Alex Reese