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AFS Trade Commission says Section 332 next step to combat offshore competition. (Metalcasting Associations).

In a unanimous decision at its October 30 meeting, the AFS Trade Commission approved the recommendation that the metalcasting industry pursue the filing of a Section 332 Fact-Finding Investigation with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) at the earliest possible opportunity. This fact-finding study will provide a thorough overview of the U.S. metalcasting industry as well as review the conditions of competition between the U.S. industry and certain foreign countries. The final report, which will be issued by the ITC, documents facts, but makes no formal recommendations; however, it is the foundation for all future trade action at the federal level by the industry as a whole or individual segments of it.

"The Section 332 is an opportunity for the industry to better understand its future challenges, to create synergy and speak as one voice," said Chuck Kurtti, Commission chairman and AFS 2nd vice president.

A Section 332 Investigation is conducted by the ITC, but will require the full cooperation of the metalcasting industry to allow the federal government body to provide a true picture of the present state of the U.S. industry. Individual companies will be requested to participate in a detailed survey by the ITC. These surveys will be the opportunity for each firm to provide evidence of the harm they are experiencing from foreign foundry competition.

"This fact-finding option is being undertaken to answer questions about current trade conditions," said Dwight Barnhard, commission member and AFS executive vice president. "The success or this effort will depend on industry participation during the initial data collection phase."

The Section 332 investigation will be initiated by AFS as the industry representative. To facilitate the Section 332 Investigation and ensure the proper steps are taken with this filing, the APS Trade Commission has retained the Washington D.C. law firm Collier Shannon Scott. This firm and its managing partner, Paul Rosenthal, have worked with both the municipal and water fitting segments of the casting industry on trade cases. The timeframe necessary for the completion of the Section 332 Investigation is 12 months from the initiation date. It is expected that the legal costs associated with this investigation will be $100,000.

"In order to take this course of action, we need your financial support, said Kurtti. "We are seeking to collect funds from all the metalcasting sectors of our industry for this fact-finding investigation."

The Trade Commission sent a letter to the entire metalcasting industry in November requesting financial assistance this month. For more information, visit the AFS website at www.afsinc.org.

The AFS Trade Commission was officially formed at the AFS Trade Forum in April to examine the issue of foreign competition and its impact on the U.S. metalcasting industry, and to determine the courses of action available to the industry at the federal government level. In pursuit of this, Commission members participated in a series of meetings with trade experts at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, the ITC, lawmakers, congressional staff and trade lawyers. In addition, the Commission reviewed past and present trade actions by the whole and portions of the U.S. metalcasting industry.

The members of the Commission are: Kurtti; Hugh Aiken, Atchison Casting Corp.; Dwight Barnhard, AFS; George Boyd, Goldens' Foundry & Machine Co.; Thomas Brown, Benton Foundry; Don Carpenter, U.S. Foundry & Manufacturing Co.; Paul Cervellero, Inductotherm Corp.; Jerry Donohue, Emsco, Inc.; Jim Keffer, EBAA Iron Sales, Inc.; James Larson, Waupaca Foundry, Inc., Dan Torzewski, Indianapolis Casting Corp.; Daniel Twarog, North American Die Casting Assn.; and Jack Zbiegien, Gregg Industries.

For more information on the AFS Trade Commission and its actions, contact Chuck Kurtti, Neenab Foundry Co. (retired) at 920/725-0028 or ckurtti@new.rr.com, or Dwight Barnhard, APS, at 800/537-4237 ext. 222 or dharnhard@afsinc.org
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Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:630
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