U.S. to impose duties on Japanese word processors

August 09, 1991|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- In a ruling that will mean steep duties on portable Japanese word processors, the International Trade Commission determined yesterday that their sale in the United States at below fair market value had hurt U.S. producers.

As a result of yesterday's decision, the Commerce Department will automatically assess anti-dumping duties of 58.71 percent on imports of the processors.

The department had determined that the processors were being dumped in the U.S. market, or sold below fair market value.

Cydney L. Louth, a spokeswoman for the Commerce Department, said that a legal order to impose the duties would probably go to the Customs Service late this month.

The word processors in dispute look like sophisticated electric typewriters with tiny cathode-ray tube displays that show the words most recently typed.

On July 2, the Commerce Department announced that Japanese portable and office word processors had been sold at a "dumping margin" of 58.71 percent.

This meant that the price of the devices would have to be increased by 58.71 percent to equal the department's calculation of their fair market value.

The Commerce Department determines the fair market value using a complicated formula.

But under U.S. law, a determination that a product has been dumped is not enough to prompt anti-dumping duties. Harm to U.S. producers also must be proved.

The International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency that investigates the effects of trade, determined yesterday that imports of personal word processors had hurt U.S. producers but that imports of office word processors had not.

As a result, the anti-dumping duties will be imposed only on imports of the personal word processors.

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