By: Jim Rosenberg
Goss International Corp. of Bolingbrook, Ill., asked the U.S. Department of Commerce on Wednesday to act on evidence supplied at its antidumping lawsuit that it says shows Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho “used a fraudulent price increase, secret rebates, and a cover-up to conceal its illegal dumping of [large newspaper printing presses] on the U.S. market, corrupt government processes, and violate U.S. law.”
The request followed an order upholding a jury’s verdict against TKS and a judgement in federal court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that awarded Goss $31.6 million for violations of the Antidumping Act of 1916. Goss presented evidence at trial to show that TKS dumped its presses on the U.S. market and tried to conceal the dumping by destroying and falsifying business records.
The suit was filed in early 2000 and concluded in late 2003, with TKS efforts to reverse the verdict or retry the case rebuffed this spring (E&P, Dec. 15, 2003; April 2004). It followed the conclusion of annual reviews of U.S. sales by four overseas competitors (three of which were named in the suit but reached settlements with Goss) that were the result of Commerce Department findings of dumping by two German and two Japanese press manufacturers.
Those findings, in turn, resulted from petitions filed by Goss in 1995 (under Rockwell International ownership) with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Commerce Department. Goss’ petitions sought investigations of the foreign manufacturers for selling large newspaper printing presses (LNPPs) in the U.S. at less than fair value and for consequent damage to the domestic LNPP industry — represented at the time solely by Goss.
In its reviews for compliance with its antidumping order, the department found no dumping by TKS. In its latest filing, Goss says that TKS never reported to the Commerce Department during its administrative reviews the evidence Goss brought to its lawsuit — “fraudulent price increase and secret rebates.” Goss wants the department “to determine whether TKS evaded the imposition of antidumping duties by submitting intentionally misleading information to the department.”
Neither Brad Nelson nor William Schopf, Chicago-based attorneys for Goss, were available for comment Wednesday afternoon. A Goss spokesman did not immediately reply to inquiries he requested be submitted by e-mail.
At TKS (U.S.A.) Inc., in Richardson, Texas, President Greg Harabin said he had not seen Goss’ announcement early Wednesday. TKS’ Chicago-area attorney, Hoken S. Seki, declined to comment on the latest development, citing involvement in the pending appeal of the antidumping lawsuit.
In a prepared statement announcing today’s filing with the Commerce Department, Goss CEO Bob Brown said, “We think that TKS’ misrepresentations may have cost the U.S. government millions of dollars in uncollected antidumping duties [and] undermined the fundamental integrity of the Department’s investigation. Given the federal court’s findings, it is appropriate that the Department of Commerce investigate TKS’ conduct, determine the precise scale of TKS’ misrepresentations, and collect now the duties that TKS should have paid years ago. The Department owes it to the American taxpayer.”
Whereas revenue from collection of antidumping duties would once have remained with Uncle Sam, the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act, or Byrd amendment of 2000, provides for the distribution of those collected duties to petitioning U.S. producer(s) found to have been harmed by dumping.
The World Trade Organization last year determined that the Byrd amendment is inconsistent with trade agreements signed by the U.S. When Congress failed to repeal the Byrd amendment (and the 1916 Antidumping Act), the WTO authorized European Union countries to institute retaliatory trade measures.