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Chinese TV Makers to Respond to US Charge

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) yesterday announced its decision to make four major Chinese television makers respondents in its anti-dumping investigations into Chinese-manufactured color sets.

The four companies are Sichuan Changhong Electric Co Ltd, Konka Group Co Ltd, TCL Holding Co Ltd and Xiamen Overseas Chinese Electronic Co Ltd (XOCECO).

They will receive their own company specific dumping margin, according to a lawyer close to the case.

Other firms, not selected, will be subject to the overall dumping tariff levied against the whole of China, as opposed to their own specific dumping margin, she added.

The DOC said in its memorandum that they do not have the resources to investigate all 12 companies who responded to the case.

As a result they decided to select the four largest firms who account for 91.4 percent of television imports to the US during the period under investigation -- October 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003.

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) determined last month that the US television industry had been materially harmed by low priced imports of certain color televisions from China and Malaysia.

The dumping allegation brought by television manufacturer Five Rivers Electronic Innovations and two trade unions argued for the imposition of duties up to 84 percent on Chinese produced televisions.

Guo Zeli, the general manager of XOCECO, said his company was pleased to learn that it will have a chance to participate in the dumping investigation.

"This is the beginning of a long process, but we are confident that when the DOC objectively and fairly considers all the facts, it will agree that XOCECO has been selling at reasonable prices," said Guo.

"Our focus has always been on mutually profitable long-term business relationships, not big export surges or one off sales. We plan to continue this long-term strategy."

Two leading law firms, Willkie Farr & Gallagher of the United States and Chai & Fu of China, are acting for XOCECO.

"With our hard work, and the help of our legal experts, we are confident that the results will positively reflect our efforts," he added.

For its part the Chinese government has expressed deep concern over the case.

An official from the Ministry of Commerce stated immediately after the ITC determination that the US allegation did not represent the interests of the entire US color television industry and it was difficult to prove a causative link between damage to US television producers and Chinese imports.

Chinese television manufacturers said the US anti-dumping charges will not block their path to the international market and will not stop the expansion of Chinese-made sets onto world markets.

If the dumping case proceeds according to timetable, the DOC will make a preliminary determination on October 9 and announce dumping margins for those firms under investigation.

(China Daily July 24, 2003)

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