On Aug. 6, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a preliminary determination of “dumping” by Japanese outboard engine manufacturers and ordered a 22.52% import bond be posted for each Japanese engine brought into the U.S.
The DOC’s order will take effect upon its filing and publication in the Federal Register, which, according to principles in the investigation, was expected to take place within a week of the ruling.
Final findings regarding how pricing practices by Japanese companies impacted U.S.-based manufacturers of outboard engines will be revealed by the DOC and the U.S. International Trade Commission in a couple of months.
The DOC’s ruling follows an investigation launched after Wisconsin-based Mercury Marine submitted a petition to the U.S. government on Jan. 8 asking for an investigation into the pricing strategies of Japanese engine manufacturers and alleging that the foreign engine builders were “dumping” product into the U.S. market.
Mercury is a division of Brunswick Corporation, which is based in Lake Forest, Ill. The newly imposed duty will include marine engines Mercury imports from Japan, as well.
“We believed it was our responsibility to our shareholders, our employees and the U.S. marine engine industry to follow this course,” Patrick C. Mackey, president of Mercury Marine, said in a prepared statement. “What we seek is a level playing field upon which all outboard engine manufacturers sell at ‘fair value,’ competing solely on the basis of their products’ features, appeal, price and value.”
U.S. law authorizes the imposition of duties to create “fair value” prices and offset injurious dumping, which occurs when a foreign producer sells products in the United States at prices significantly less than in its own country or below fully distributed costs.
Lawmakers Discuss Marine Industry
The Workforce Protection Subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee recently held a hearing on H.R. 1329, the Recreational Marine Employment Act (RMEA), designed to exclude the recreational marine industry from its costly and duplicative mandatory insurance requirements.
The bill, proposed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and sponsored by Representative Ric Keller (R-FL), will amend the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). Rep. Keller said he learned of the issue from a group of concerned marine industry employers who visited him in his district office.
The subcommittee hearing is the first step in making RMEA law. Timing of future steps in unclear.
PWC BAN RECONSIDERED
Another example of the positive trend toward PWC access, officials in Northern California have elected to reconsider a ban on PWC on Anderson Reservoir, a ban that has been in effect for the last six years. According to a report in the Gilroy Dispatch, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department are reconsidering the ban due to the fact that the original legislation was put into place due to the gasoline additive MTBE. That additive has now been removed from California gasoline.
Naturally, the reversal of the ban is being fought by the environmental group Bluewater Network. The organization has reportedly sent nearly 600 letters to the country from residents of numerous states, expressing concern about the impacts of PWC on wildlife and personal safety.
The water district plans to monitor the water closely, testing at least once a month, and promptly after busy holiday weekends.
WORLD FINALS TV TIMES ANNOUNCED
The IJSBA and IMG recently unveiled the television schedule for the 2004 Dos Equis Desert XX, featuring the Dos Equis World Finals at Lake Havasu. The event is expected to reach 80 million households on Fox Sports Net’s Fusion TV, airing in three individual, one-hour segments at 4:00 pm on Wednesdays in October and November. The first airing is scheduled for October 27th, followed by airings November 10th and 17th. psb