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LINT ROLLERS, LINT ROLLER REFILLS, LINT BRUSHES AND FABRIC COMBS

Inquiries (Section 42)


LINT ROLLERS, LINT ROLLER REFILLS, LINT BRUSHES AND FABRIC COMBS ORIGINATING IN OR EXPORTED FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND PRODUCED BY OR ON BEHALF OF HELMAC PRODUCTS CORPORATION, FLINT, MICHIGAN, ITS SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS
Inquiry No.: NQ-90-004

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Ottawa, Friday, February 1, 1991

Inquiry No.: NQ-90-004

IN THE MATTER OF an inquiry under section 42 of the Special Import Measures Act respecting:

LINT ROLLERS, LINT ROLLER REFILLS, LINT BRUSHES AND FABRIC COMBS ORIGINATING IN OR EXPORTED FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND PRODUCED BY OR ON BEHALF OF HELMAC PRODUCTS CORPORATION, FLINT, MICHIGAN, ITS SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS

F I N D I N G

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal, under the provisions of section 42 of the Special Import Measures Act, has conducted an inquiry consequent upon the issuance by the Deputy Minister of National Revenue for Customs and Excise of a preliminary determination of dumping dated October 4, 1990, and of a final determination of dumping dated December 18, 1990, respecting the importation into Canada of lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs originating in or exported from the United States of America and produced by or on behalf of Helmac Products Corporation, Flint, Michigan, its successors and assigns.

Pursuant to subsection 43(1) of the Special Import Measures Act, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal hereby finds that the dumping in Canada of lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs by Helmac Products Corporation has not caused, is not causing and is not likely to cause material injury to the production in Canada of like goods.

W. Roy Hines
_________________________
W. Roy Hines
Presiding Member


Kathleen E. Macmillan
_________________________
Kathleen E. Macmillan
Member


Charles A. Gracey
_________________________
Charles A. Gracey
Member


Robert J. Martin
_________________________
Robert J. Martin
Secretary

The Statement of Reasons will be issued within 15 days.

Ottawa, Monday, February 18, 1991

Inquiry No.: NQ-90-004

LINT ROLLERS, LINT ROLLER REFILLS, LINT BRUSHES AND FABRIC COMBS ORIGINATING IN OR EXPORTED FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND PRODUCED BY OR ON BEHALF OF HELMAC PRODUCTS CORPORATION, FLINT, MICHIGAN, ITS SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS

Special Import Measures Act - Whether the dumping of the above-mentioned goods has caused, is causing or is likely to cause material injury.

DECISION: The Canadian International Trade Tribunal hereby finds that the dumping in Canada of the aforementioned goods has not caused, is not causing and is not likely to cause material injury to the production in Canada of like goods.

Place of Hearing: Ottawa, Ontario
Dates of Hearing: January 10 - 11, 1991

Date of Finding: February 1, 1991
Date of Reasons: February 18, 1991

Tribunal Members: W. Roy Hines, Presiding Member
Kathleen E. Macmillan, Member
Charles A. Gracey, Member

Director of Research: Selik Shainfarber
Research Officer: Anis Mahli
Statistical Officer: Sonia McEachern

Registration and Distribution
Clerk: Pierrette Hébert

Participants: James L. Shields and
Phillip G. Hunt
for Roth (plastics) Corporation

(Complainant)
D. William Mutch, Q.C., and
Hugh A. Christie
for Helmac Products Corporation

(Exporter)

Witnesses:

Eric M. Roth
President
Roth (plastics) Corporation

David Roth
Vice-President
Roth (plastics) Corporation

Douglas R. Taeckens
President
Helmac Products Corporation

Douglas W. Bell
Housewares Division Manager
Alliance Mercantile Inc.

Frank DeGoey
Sales Director
UK Division
Helmac Products Corporation

Linda Grannen
Senior Buyer
Zellers Inc. - Montréal

Address all communications to:

Secretary
Canadian International Trade Tribunal
20th Floor
Journal Tower South
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G7

STATEMENT OF REASONS

SUMMARY

This is an inquiry to determine whether the dumping in Canada of lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs originating in or exported from the United States of America and produced by or on behalf of Helmac Products Corporation, Flint, Michigan, its successors and assigns, has caused, is causing or is likely to cause material injury to the production in Canada of like goods.

Roth (plastics) Corporation (Roth), the sole complainant and the largest producer of the subject goods in Canada, alleged that the dumping by Helmac Products Corporation (Helmac) caused price suppression and erosion. As a result, Roth suffered substantial losses in sales revenue, production and profitability, and less funds were available to finance research and development. Counsel further submitted that it was likely that the dumping would continue in the absence of a finding, especially in light of the current economic recession.

Counsel for the exporter claimed that Roth's difficulties did not stem from dumping, but from other factors.

The Tribunal notes that while this inquiry relates to four product categories, the lint roller and lint roller refill segment of the business comprised over two-thirds of Roth's sales, and sales of lint brushes and fabric combs by Helmac have been a small factor in the market to date. In looking at the information provided by Roth, covering the period following Helmac's entry in the market, the Tribunal finds that, although Roth's prices and revenues have fallen, other performance indicators have not been significantly affected by competition from Helmac. Production, capacity utilization and employment have largely been unchanged, and Roth's profitability, although down briefly in late 1989, has shown a substantial increase since Helmac's entry into the Canadian market. Based on the information submitted by Roth, the Tribunal therefore concludes that the dumping has not caused Roth to suffer injury of a material nature.

Finally, the Tribunal also finds that there is no likelihood of injury. The evidence indicates no pending change in circumstances that may constitute an imminent threat of material injury to Roth. The preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that Roth has responded quickly and effectively to the competitive challenges confronting it. Thus far, Helmac has achieved rather modest success and there is no reason to believe that it will be more successful in winning sales from Roth in the near future. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that the subject goods are not overly influenced by general economic conditions.

CONDUCT OF THE INQUIRY

The Tribunal, under the provisions of section 42 of the Special Import Measures Act, has conducted an inquiry respecting the dumping in Canada of lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs originating in or exported from the United States of America. This inquiry followed the issuance by the Deputy Minister of National Revenue for Customs and Excise (the Deputy Minister) of a preliminary determination of dumping on October 4, 1990, and a final determination of dumping on December 18, 1990.

The notices of preliminary and final determinations of dumping, as well as the Tribunal's Notice of Commencement of Inquiry issued on October 11, 1990, were published in Part I of the Canada Gazette.

As part of the inquiry, the Tribunal sent questionnaires to four Canadian manufacturers and ten importers of the subject goods, requesting production, financial, import, marketing and other information, covering the inquiry period from January 1, 1987, to September 30, 1990. Questionnaires were also sent to six manufacturers in the United States for data on their exports to Canada. From the replies to questionnaires, the Tribunal's research staff prepared public and protected pre-hearing staff reports covering the period of review in this inquiry.

The record of this inquiry consists of all Tribunal exhibits, including the public and protected/confidential replies to questionnaires, all exhibits filed by the parties at the hearing and the transcript of all proceedings. All public exhibits were made available to the parties, and protected/confidential exhibits were made available to independent counsel only.

Public and in camera hearings were held in Ottawa, Ontario, commencing on January 10, 1991. The participants, Roth (plastics) Corporation, the complainant, and Helmac Products Corporation, the exporter, were represented by counsel at the hearing. Counsel for the exporter called witnesses from Alliance Mercantile Inc., Helmac Products Corporation U.S. and Helmac Products Corporation, United Kingdom. The Tribunal also invited a witness from Zellers Inc. to participate in the hearing and answer questions put to her by the Tribunal and by counsel for each party.

A finding that the dumped goods have not caused, are not causing and are not likely to cause material injury to the domestic production of the subject goods was issued by the Tribunal on February 1, 1991.

THE PRODUCT

The products that are the subject of this inquiry, as set out in the preliminary determination of dumping, are lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs originating in or exported from the United States of America and produced by or on behalf of Helmac Products Corporation, Flint, Michigan, its successors and assigns. These products can be described as follows:

Lint Rollers and Lint Roller Refills

A lint roller consists of a lint pick-up tape, a cardboard cylinder (roller), a moulded plastic core and handle, and a reusable plastic or paper covering. The tape, which is a pressure-sensitive, adhesive-coated paper, is wound on a cardboard roller. The tape is perforated at intervals to facilitate the peeling and removal of used layers of paper. To enable the tape to revolve freely when picking-up lint and dirt particles, the plastic core affixed to a handle is inserted into the roll. When the roller is not utilized, a reusable cover is used to protect the adhesive on the tape. The subject goods are produced in a variety of sizes. The size of a lint roller is determined by the width and the length of the tape. Lint roller refills, which are easily changeable, are produced to fit the lint rollers. The length of the tape ranges from 5 ft.-to 65 ft., with the 5 ft.-length being the largest seller (in volume and value terms) for the domestic industry. Over the inquiry period, lint rollers and lint roller refills have consistently comprised the vast majority of Canadian production of the subject goods.

Lint Brushes

This product is manufactured from a high-impact, moulded plastic handle with a fabric affixed to it. Some models are two-sided for extra surface and others have long, reversible handles. To remove dust and lint particles, the fabric side is brushed against clothing and other articles.

Fabric Combs

A fabric comb is composed of a thin strip of polypropylene plastic and a special screen material. The material is designed to pick up fuzz balls from knitted garments.

THE DOMESTIC INDUSTRY

There are four companies producing the subject goods in Canada: Roth (plastics) Corporation, of Toronto, Ontario; Canadian Technical Tape Ltd. (Cantech), of Saint-Laurent, Quebec; 3M Canada Inc. (3M), of London, Ontario; and Beiersdorf Canada Ltd. (Beiersdorf), of Cornwall, Ontario. Roth, which produces all categories of the subject goods, was the sole complainant and largest producer of the subject goods in Canada. Cantech, 3M and Beiersdorf are major producers of masking tapes and strapping tapes. They manufacture a small volume of lint rollers and lint roller refills for the dry cleaning and automotive industries. They market the subject goods directly to end users and through large volume distributors. Therefore, for purposes of this inquiry, Roth is considered to constitute the domestic industry.

Roth produces the subject goods under its own brand names and private labels. Lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs are sold to independent distributors, wholesalers, cash and carry wholesalers, and rack-jobbers. Rack jobbers provide services for merchants at the store level, such as ensuring that store shelves are continually stocked with the subject goods. Distributors and wholesalers sell to retailers that resell the subject goods to consumers. Large chain stores purchase their requirements directly from Roth.

THE INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES

Helmac is the single largest producer of lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs in the United States. Its market share of total subject goods represents the major proportion of total US domestic sales estimated in 1989 at approximately $12 million dollars. There are also other manufacturers that specialize in the production of one or more of the subject products. Those firms are: Bemis Company, Inc. (lint rollers and lint roller refills); Oak Hill Industries (fabric combs); K-Tel International (USA), Inc. (lint rollers and lint roller refills); Selfix, Inc. (lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs); and Laidlaw Corporation (lint rollers and lint roller refills). The US market is also supplied with imports from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany and Canada.

IMPORTER/EXPORTER

Alliance Mercantile Inc. (Alliance), was the only importer that was investigated by Revenue Canada because Helmac sells its products in Canada exclusively through Alliance.

THE RESULTS OF THE DEPUTY MINISTER'S INVESTIGATION

The period of investigation chosen by the Deputy Minister covered imports of lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs from Helmac in the United States between May 1, 1989, and July 31, 1990. In the final determination, the Deputy Minister indicated that about 91 percent of Helmac's exports to Canada had been dumped by a weighted average margin of dumping of 26 percent.

THE COMPLAINT

Counsel noted that Roth had been in the lint removal product market for some 30 years. Until 1989, price levels had been relatively constant and Roth had no difficulty competing with other suppliers in the Canadian market. Helmac's entry in 1989 changed this equilibrium. Roth's position within the market deteriorated substantially. What Roth lost in market share was gained by Alliance, Helmac's exclusive Canadian distributor.

According to counsel, the dumping by Helmac caused price suppression and erosion. Along with the decline in prices, Roth suffered substantial losses in sales revenues, production and profitability. Employment levels had to be reduced, capacity was underutilized and less funds were available to finance research and development.

Counsel further contended that, although Roth produced a quality product, price was the most important consideration in making sales in this market. With the aid of substantial margins of dumping, Helmac/Alliance had been able to price at very low levels and, thereby, penetrate the Canadian market quickly and substantially. In counsel's view, the Tribunal's witness from Zellers Inc. indicated that Alliance's lower price offerings induced Zellers Inc. to renegotiate prices with Roth. To maintain the business, Roth reduced its prices to meet those offered by Alliance.

Counsel added that there was no reason to believe that the threat of injury from Helmac/Alliance would be less in the future than it had been in the past. Witnesses from both Helmac and Alliance had indicated that their companies were "committed" to the Canadian market over the long term. In counsel's view, this commitment could only be realized by dumping, given the competitive circumstances prevailing in the Canadian market. Counsel also noted that the current economic recession increased downward price pressures in the market, increasing the threat of dumping.

Finally, counsel for the industry noted that the four lint removal product categories described by the Deputy Minister in the final determination, comprised a "single business." As such, the question of material injury should be considered in relation to the effect dumping by Helmac has had on the group of products as a whole.

THE RESPONSE

Counsel for the exporter submitted three arguments in support of Helmac's case. First, they contended that Roth was not in worse shape today than it was before Helmac entered the market in 1989. Second, even if the Tribunal were to find that Roth was in worse shape, counsel submitted that this deterioration could not be blamed on Helmac. Third, even if Helmac did cause Roth difficulties, it was counsel's argument that these difficulties did not stem from pricing or dumping, but from other factors.

Before elaborating on these arguments, counsel noted that there was an onus on the domestic industry to provide reliable data on its performance. However, the data provided by Roth, in counsel's view, lacked "coherence" and "sophistication." Moreover, Roth produced figures showing unusual or contradictory results on profitability, production, employment and capacity utilization.

Turning to the argument that Roth is not worse off, counsel drew attention to the data contained in the Tribunal's staff report. In counsel's estimation, in comparing 1988 to the period following Helmac's entry into the market, the data indicated that Roth's gross margins, volume of business, capacity utilization and percent share of the Canadian market all had increased, while employment levels had remained relatively constant. Although there was a drop in Roth's net income in 1989 compared to 1988, this stemmed from a loss in the fourth quarter of 1989 that Roth had not been able to explain, casting doubt on the credibility of the reported decline.

In arguing that Helmac was not the cause of any injury suffered by Roth, counsel noted that Asian and other US suppliers had been competing actively in the Canadian market prior to Helmac's entry in 1989. This competition had resulted in a substantial loss of market share by Roth in 1988 compared to 1987. In this pre-Helmac period, Roth also lost one of its largest single accounts, Fireco (a major Canadian distributor) to Bemis, a US supplier of lint rollers and lint roller refills. This Asian and other US competition continued after Helmac's entry and was supplemented by the entry of other Canadian manufacturers into the market. In counsel's view, it was Roth's reaction to this competition, especially from Bemis, that caused prices to decline. Furthermore, according to counsel, the evidence showed that Roth had exacerbated the magnitude of the price declines, by overreacting to the situation and by quoting prices that were well below its competition.

Insofar as the last argument is concerned - that Roth's losses stem from factors other than dumping - counsel enumerated several advantages that Helmac and, its exclusive Canadian distributor, Alliance, had over Roth. These included Alliance's broader product range, better warehousing and distribution system, and better sales network. Counsel also contended that Helmac's lint roller and lint roller refill products were superior in quality to Roth's, as evidenced by the findings of an independent retail research study. Counsel also asserted that Helmac was a more efficient producer than Roth.

In conclusion, counsel for the exporter argued that the lint removal product market was in transition. In prior years, Roth had enjoyed virtual monopoly power, but now there is competition. To all appearances, this transition was happening in an orderly fashion and Roth was not suffering. Finally, counsel noted that Helmac had been singled out from the other competition by Roth for the purpose of this dumping compliant, solely because of a long history of intercorporate disagreements between the two companies.

MARKET INDICATORS

Over the inquiry period, the total volume of Canadian consumption of lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs reached its highest level in 1988, fell marginally in 1989, then rebounded moderately in interim 1990. The 1988 peak resulted primarily from a one-time surge in imports of subject goods from non-US sources in that year. Of the total lint removal products consumed during the inquiry period, lint rollers and lint roller refills accounted for approximately two-thirds, while 80 percent of the balance consisted of lint brushes, as fabric comb consumption was nominal.

Throughout the inquiry period, Roth has held a dominant share of the market, comprising, at all times, in excess of two-thirds of the market. Helmac captured about one-tenth of the combined market in 1989, then declined markedly during the first three quarters of 1990. Imports from non-Helmac sources consistently held a share of the market that was more than twice as much as Helmac's during the inquiry period.

Looking at each product submarket separately, apparent Canadian consumption of lint rollers and lint roller refills increased, in volume terms, over the inquiry period. In 1989, Helmac obtained just over one-tenth of the lint roller and lint roller refill market, corresponding to a significant drop in market share by Roth. However, during the first three quarters of 1990, Helmac experienced a marked drop in its share of this market, while Roth's share increased. Lint rollers and lint roller refills, mainly from non-Helmac sources in the United States, supplied about one-fifth of the domestic market in 1988, before retreating to settle at about one-tenth of the market in interim 1990.

Lint brush consumption also grew over the inquiry period. Roth's share of this submarket plummeted in 1988, rebounded moderately in 1989, before falling back again in interim 1990, at which time it represented over three quarters of the brush market. Roth's competition in this area has come largely from non-US sources. Helmac's participation in this submarket increased in interim 1990 over interim 1989, but remained at low levels.

As noted previously, the comb market fluctuated greatly, rising to a peak level in 1988, before falling to its lowest volume, in the first three quarters of 1990. Despite these fluctuations, Roth's market share has remained relatively constant, at about one-third of the comb market. With the exception of 1988, when non-US suppliers made inroads, the comb market has been dominated by Oak Hill Industries of the United States while Helmac's share remained negligible over the entire inquiry period.

The average unit value of the subject goods sold by Roth fell by about 20 percent between 1988 and interim 1990. This overall decline reflected comparable declines in average unit values for lint rollers, lint roller refills and lint brushes. In 1990, average unit values stabilized at a level slightly below 1989.

REASONS FOR DECISION

The Tribunal notes that the goods found to be dumped by Helmac are defined by the Deputy Minister, in her preliminary and final determinations, as falling within four categories: lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs. In submissions to the Tribunal, counsel for Roth (comprising the domestic industry for the purposes of this inquiry) state that these four product categories constitute "a single business" and, therefore, should be evaluated as a group in assessing whether there has been material injury. The Tribunal agrees that the four categories comprise an interrelated group. At the same time, this inquiry relates to distinct product categories that must be examined individually having regard to the effects of dumping on the overall performance of Roth.

Turning to the principal issues in this case, the Tribunal notes that counsel for the industry contend that Roth suffered a decline in performance, amounting to injury of a material nature, following Helmac's entry into the Canadian market, in earnest, early in 1989. It is clear that Roth suffered a marked decline in its average unit prices as well as a substantial drop in its sales revenues in 1989 compared to 1988. To that extent, one might concede that some injury was caused to the complainant during this period. Beyond this, however, the Tribunal has found it difficult to determine whether Roth suffered material injury, primarily because of inconsistent data presented by Roth that the company has failed to adequately explain.

More particularly, the financial information provided by Roth shows that the company experienced relatively good profitability over the first three quarters of 1989, before incurring a heavy loss in the fourth quarter. However, over the next three quarters of 1990, according to Roth's data, profitability rebounded to its highest level in the entire inquiry period. If these figures are right, they show that Roth's profitability was depressed by some 40 percent in 1989 compared to 1988. However, the rebound in interim 1990 was so robust that Roth's total pre-tax net income over the whole seven quarters was about 20 percent higher than in the eight quarters preceding Helmac's entry in the market. Such a result, in the opinion of the Tribunal, does not support a conclusion that Roth has suffered sustained injury of a financial nature.

Having said this, the Tribunal has some doubt that the data, as provided by Roth, correctly portrays the company's financial performance. The apparent heavy loss in the fourth quarter of 1989 is obviously inconsistent with the three quarters preceding it as well as the three quarters following it. This may simply be the result of disproportionate cost allocations by Roth that have been charged to the fourth quarter. If so, this would help to explain why the unit costs of goods sold in this quarter are much higher than in the other six quarters. However, this is no more than conjecture since there may be other explanations for this situation.

The Tribunal notes that Roth was given ample opportunity to clarify this matter both during and (in a departure from usual procedure) after the hearing. Despite this, the Tribunal remains unclear about what caused the fourth-quarter result beyond the obvious explanation that it stems from a shortfall between costs and revenues. Faced with the choice of disregarding the data or of taking it at face value, the Tribunal has opted for the latter.

In terms of Roth's other performance indicators, the Tribunal notes that the uncontradicted data contained in the Tribunal's staff report do not reveal signs of distress. More particularly, these data show that Roth's production volumes increased by more than 10 percent in 1989 compared to 1988. The interim figures for 1990 show production proceeding at more or less the same pace as 1989. While Roth's capacity has remained substantially unchanged, this capacity was being utilized more fully in 1989 and 1990. The total number of employees engaged in production was only down by one at the end of the third quarter of 1990, compared to the end of 1988. Moreover, in volume terms, Roth's overall market share was somewhat higher at the end of the third quarter of 1990 than at the end of 1988. While Roth's market share, expressed in value terms, was down by a modest 3 points in interim 1990 from 1988, Roth's overall share of sales remains in excess of two-thirds of the market.

In sum, in looking at Roth's performance in the period following Helmac's entry in the market, the Tribunal finds that, although Roth's prices and revenues have fallen, the company's profitability, taking Roth's figures at face value, actually increased, and other important performance indicators are also up such as production, capacity utilization and sales volumes. On the basis of this evidence, the Tribunal concludes, on balance, that the dumping by Helmac has not caused Roth to suffer injury of a material nature.

The Tribunal notes that the focal point of competition between Roth and Helmac/Alliance has been on sales of lint rollers and lint roller refills. Since the beginning of 1989, these products have comprised well over 80 percent of unit sales by Helmac/Alliance and well over 60 percent of Roth's unit sales. Moreover, over 75 percent of the profits earned by Roth, following Helmac's market entry, were earned on the sale of lint rollers and lint roller refills. Clearly, the effects of Helmac's activities on this product group are well reflected in the consolidated results. Accordingly, the conclusion reached above, that Roth has not suffered material injury, is entirely applicable to this segment of the business. It is also clear that the sales of lint brushes and fabric combs by Helmac/Alliance have been a small factor in the market to date. Hence, the Tribunal has no reason to conclude that Helmac's brush and comb sales have caused material injury to these parts of Roth's business.

The Tribunal notes that counsel for Helmac have questioned the reliability of the data provided by Roth. The Tribunal shares this concern. Roth's submissions disclose a number of data discrepancies, conflicts and unusual results. These were the subject of probing by the Tribunal and Helmac's counsel during the hearing. In addition to the problem relating to the financial data, Roth was asked to explain why two widely different sets of data on production were submitted to the Tribunal and why a third different set was submitted to Revenue Canada. Similar questions also arose as to why different sets of data on employment and capacity utilization were submitted to the Tribunal and Revenue Canada. On the whole, the Tribunal is not satisfied with the answers provided by Roth. Nevertheless, while the data concerns are not taken lightly, these concerns may be set aside. Even taking the data at face value, as the Tribunal has done, does not support a finding of material injury.

The final question that must be addressed in this case is whether there is a likelihood of injury. To make a positive finding where there is no past or present injury, the evidence must show that circumstances are about to change in a way that raises an imminent threat of material injury to the domestic industry. This threat must be based on fact, not speculation, conjecture or remote possibility.

On the basis of the evidence, the Tribunal sees nothing that indicates any imminent change in circumstances. The preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that Roth has responded strongly and positively to the competitive challenges confronting it. At this time, there is no reason to believe that Helmac/Alliance will enjoy a rate of success in winning sales from Roth, in the near future, that is greater than the rather modest success they have achieved to date. On the contrary, the evidence shows that Helmac's market share has declined from 1989, over the first three quarters of 1990, leaving it with less than 10 percent of the market (measured in volume or value terms). In short, Roth is operating profitably and appears to be more than holding its own in the market, at present, with no indication of any pending reversal of this trend.

The Tribunal notes that counsel for Roth has argued that the current recession increases the threat of dumping. However, the evidence suggests that lint removal products, while not perhaps recession-proof, are nonetheless not strongly influenced by general economic conditions. In this connection, the Tribunal notes that the market for subject goods has been relatively stable over the inquiry period. Indeed, this market has so far been able to buck the recession, growing by about 3 percent (in volume and value terms) in interim 1990, over the comparable period in 1989.

Having regard to the foregoing, the Tribunal has no reason to conclude that Roth is confronting an imminent threat of injury from Helmac, based on the facts that are available today. This does not mean that Helmac is not capable of causing Roth material injury. Indeed, renewed dumping together with changed circumstances could conceivably have this effect. If it does, it is open to Roth to bring a new action against Helmac, based on the situation that may then exist.

CONCLUSION

In light of the foregoing, the Tribunal concludes that the dumping of lint rollers, lint roller refills, lint brushes and fabric combs originating in or exported from the United States of America and produced by or on behalf of Helmac Products Corporation, Flint, Michigan, its successors and assigns, has not caused, is not causing and is not likely to cause material injury to the production in Canada of like goods.


[Table of Contents]

Initial publication: July 22, 1997

Case Number(s)

NQ-90-004

Attachment(s)

Status

Publication Date

Tuesday, July 22, 1997

Modification Date

Tuesday, January 20, 2004