Marshfield company fights predatory pricing

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News,Business

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) — A Marshfield-based producer of stainless steel piping products and fabricated piping systems is asking the federal government to help stop other countries' predatory pricing practices.

Felker Bros. Corp. and other petitioners in a pending investigation say welded stainless pressure pipe imported from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam and sold for less than the cost of the products has taken a quarter of the U.S. market in the past two years, according to News-Herald Media (http://mnhne.ws/1gDH9WR). So, Felker Bros. has asked the government to impose a duty on the companies.

"It's a common practice," Felker President Dave Hendrickson said. "They sell below cost then raise prices when they own the market once domestic manufacturers are gone."

Felker Bros. petitioned for antidumping relief from unfair trading practices by Chinese stainless steel pipe importers in 2009 and won, which improved sales until about 2012.

Hendrickson said he hasn't had to lay off workers because sales of fittings and fabricated products have been strong enough to offset decreased stainless steel pipe sales, but the company could have hired more workers if it didn't have to contend with unfair international trade practices.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin testified on behalf of Felker Bros. before the U.S. International Trade Commission on May 23. The ITC investigates claims of dumping injuries, which are filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and has the power to issue antidumping duties on countries found to have engaged in predatory pricing.

Hendrickson said he expects the ITC to issue a ruling regarding the petition June 24.

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Information from: News-Herald Media, http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com

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