a manufacturing plant in Georgia, said sales aren't quite as good as last year, but pan of the reason may be that the yen has increased in value against the dollar, driving up prices. Makita has not pulled any tools from the U.S. market.
According to Brian Sponsler, marketing director for Ryobi's power tool division, that company has managed to avoid the new duties completely. Anticipating the worst, Ryobi relocated production of many of its highest-vol-ume products to its plant in South Carolina before the rulings were issued. However, Ryobi has stopped importing some lower-volume products such as hand-held planers (models L22LK, L150K and L580A), certain routers (models R230, R331, R500, R501 and R600), and circular saws (models W640C, W740C and WD600C).
Many people thought Hitachi would be hit hardest by the ruling, since it has no American plants. In fact, sales on its popular C8FB sliding compound-miter saw have dropped since the import fees boosted the list price from 5950 to $ 1,400. But according to Hitachi public relations counsel Gerald Decker, the company has plants in several countries, so the duties—which only cover products made in Japan—are not devastating.
A spokesman for Black & Decker, the American business which initially lodged the dumping complaint, said the company has only seen a minor increase in sales since the import fees took effect. But. he argued, while the ruling may not damage Japanese companies, it could help the American economy by creating new jobs and increasing sales of domestic materials and parts used to make the tools.
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