Wal-Mart and Best Buy Say Duties Not Needed

Apr 16, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Executives at Wal-Mart and Best Buy called on the U.S. International Trade Commission to block plans by the Bush administration to put anti-dumping duties on color television
sets imported from China beginning in June.

Kevin O’Connor, vice president of home entertainment products for Wal-Mart, said imposing additional levies on the Chinese imports wasn’t warranted because “these TVs do not
compete with domestically produced color televisions and have not had any adverse affect on the domestic color TV producers.”

Mr. O’Connor said the Chinese imports were low-end products and domestic manufacturers had chosen not to compete in that segment of the color television business.

Bill Cody, vice president for Best Buy, agreed with Mr. O’Connor that domestic producers are focused “on higher-tech, value-added products that are the future of the TV industry
and not the bottom end of the market.”

Mr. Cody said that other countries would step up to offer low-end color televisions if the Chinese were priced out of the market because of increased duties placed on their products.

Do you agree with Wal-Mart and Best Buy that placing added duties on color TVs imported from China would be a mistake?

Moderator’s Comment: Is this a case of déjà vu all over again or is it just us?

The Reuters article included a quote from A.J. Davis, a union leader at a Sanyo plant, who said, “Our experience and training is no match for the
recent flood of Chinese TVs.”

Doesn’t seem that long ago that the low-ball dumping criticisms levied against China were the same ones being made against companies from Japan and Korea.
Now, manufacturers such as Sanyo are referred to as domestic suppliers because they have some plants here.
Anderson – Moderator

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