Stoughton Trailers has filed an unfair trade petition against China over the importation of 53 ft. domestic dry containers. The petition, filed with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and the International Trade Commission, alleges that Chinese manufacturers have gained an unfair competitive advantage in the marketplace by importing dry containers and selling them at “subsidized prices.”

In the petition, Stoughton, which said it “currently accounts for all of the known installed manufacturing capacity in the U.S. to produce domestic containers, has suffered material competitive injury as a result of these unfair trade practices.”

According to the petition, the domestic container manufacturing industry in the U.S. has been “materially retarded” as a result of the Chinese imports.

Stoughton has asked the U.S. government to investigate its claims “and to apply antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of these containers from China in order to restore competitive parity in the U.S. market and to allow the domestic container manufacturing industry to naturally develop in the U.S.”

The petition documents antidumping and countervailing duty margins in excess of 50%, Stoughton said.

According to Stoughton, Chinese manufacturers have 95% of the domestic container market in the U.S.

“China has ‘dumped’ domestic container products into the U.S. market at prices that are well below fair value,” said Robert P. Wahlin, Stoughton president. “Furthermore, Chinese manufacturers receive an array of government subsidies, not to mention that country’s manipulation of currency exchange rates. All of these factors equate to an enormous unfair advantage for Chinese manufacturers of these products. This unfair advantage has injured Stoughton Trailers, LLC specifically, and has precluded the competitive establishment of a 53 ft. cargo container manufacturing industry in the U.S. generally.

“The goal in filing this petition is to ensure that all of the participants in this important market - Stoughton Trailers as well as our Chinese competitors - have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” added Wahlin.  “This petition, if successful, will also help ensure that America has a strong, domestically based industry to manufacture, sell, and service domestic containers.  For our company, and for the communities which we support, this could also mean more well-paying manufacturing jobs.”