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Stoughton Trailers Cries Foul Play Against China

STOUGHTON, WI — Stoughton Trailers has filed an unfair trade petition regarding imports of 53-foot domestic dry containers from China.

“China has ‘dumped’ domestic container products into the U.S. market at prices that are well below fair value,” said Robert P. Wahlin, president of Stoughton Trailers.

The petition, filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission, states that Stoughton Trailers, which currently accounts for all of the known installed manufacturing capacity in the U.S. to produce domestic containers, has suffered material competitive injury as a result of these unfair trade practices.

Chinese manufacturers have gained an unfair competitive advantage by selling imports of the product in the U.S. at dumped and subsidized prices, according to the petition.

The petition also states that the domestic container manufacturing industry in the U.S. has been prevented from growing and developing as it otherwise would have in a free market, because of the Chinese imports.    

“Chinese manufacturers receive an array of government subsidies, not to mention that country’s manipulation of currency exchange rates. All of these factors equate to an enormous unfair advantage for Chinese manufacturers of these products. This unfair advantage has injured Stoughton Trailers specifically, and has precluded the competitive establishment of a 53-foot cargo container manufacturing industry in the U.S. generally,” Wahlin said.

The petition calls for the US government to investigate these claims and to apply anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of these containers from China in order to restore competitive parity in the U.S. market.

“The goal in filing this petition is to ensure that all of the participants in this important market - Stoughton Trailers as well as our Chinese competitors - have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” Wahlin said.

Over the last several years, the market share of domestic containers captured by manufacturers in China has grown to over 95 percent of the market.

A preliminary ruling and escrow deposit requirement could be implemented by the summer of 2014 and a final ruling and duty could be implemented by early 2015.

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