WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of Ward Manufacturing by a vote of 5-0 that there is a reasonable indication that cast iron pipe fittings from China are being sold in the U.S. at “less than fair value.”

The federal agency has agreed that an investigation is warranted. Tom Gleason, vice president, marketing and sales, for Ward Manufacturing, stated, “As past president of the American Pipe Fitting Association, I have personally experienced how predatory low-price imports have devastated our membership. Companies such as Stanley Flagg and Stockham have been forced out of the pipe fitting business.”

Gleason noted that American producers can compete with countries that have comparable OSHA regulations and comparable environmental compliance costs. “In essence, we have a level playing field,” he said. “But no American producer can compete with countries that have little regard for the environment or safety of their workforce.”

He added, “To the best of my knowledge, not only are the producers in China not regulated, the government also substantially subsidizes the exporter. It’s a win-win for them and a lose-lose for us.”

The next step in the process is for the U.S. Department of Commerce to continue its “anti-dumping duty” investigation. A determination is expected in late July.

The company is a Professional Product Line Partner of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC), and the association said that it will be working with Ward to monitor the issue.

Publication date: 04/22/2002