Mercury reacts to decision in engine dumping case

FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Mercury Marine President Patrick C. Mackey is “gratified” by the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) ruling Monday that opened the door for what he termed “a full-fledged investigation” into pricing practices by Japanese marine-engine manufacturers, the company said in a press release yesterday.

By a 6-0 vote the ITC “determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of outboard engines from Japan that are allegedly sold in the United States at less than fair value,” a statement on the ITC Web site said.

“We’re gratified that the International Trade Commission’s ruling confirms the statements made in our petition, and that a full-scale investigation will take place,” Mackey said in Mercury’s statement. “As we previously stated, this is an important issue facing the U.S. marine industry, and it’s one that must be resolved. We feel a responsibility to our customers, shareholders and employees to bring to light activities contrary to U.S. trade laws.”

Mercury’s release said the company had presented evidence at an ITC conference on Feb. 2, “that Japanese outboard-engine companies have engaged in unfair trade practices in the U.S. for several years and that they continue to do so.”

In its response to the ruling, the Yamaha Marine Group said the ITC’s decision was based on the low threshold imposed for continuing the case.

“This early decision simply reflects the low threshold imposed on the ITC for continuing the case, not the realities of the marketplace,” Phil Dyskow, Yamaha Marine Group president said. “Mercury’s problems were created by Mercury not by Yamaha or other Japanese producers.”

As a result of the commission’s ruling, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue its antidumping investigation with a preliminary determination due on or about June 16, the ITC statement said.

Copies of the commission’s Feb. 23 findings are expected to be available after March 22, and can be obtained by calling 202/205-1809. Requests may also be faxed to 202/205-2104.

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