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Import Duties Hit Japanese Tool Makers
Hefty new import fees on some power tools made in Japan might level the playing field for American tool makers, but in many cases the fees won't affect the prices consumers pay for Japanese tools and they won't drive Japanese companies from the American market.
In June of 1993 the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) imposed import duties of more than 54 percent on many hand-held, professional-grade cutting tools (such as planers, routers and circular saws) imported from Japan, to punish Japanese companies for alleged "dumping"—selling their tools in the U.S. for less than fair value to capture a larger share of the market.
Makita is now appealing the DOC decision. In the meantime, the big three Japanese tool companies—Ryobi, Hitachi and Makita—say the new fees haven't had a large impact on their product lines because many of the tools aren't manufactured in Japan.
A spokesman for Makita, which has
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