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US crane tariffs investigation terminated

The US Commerce Department has announced that it has terminated the Section 232 investigation into mobile crane imports. The decision was taken just over a week ago, by Secretary Ross.

The investigation, which had been requested by Manitowoc and its former chief executive Barry Pennypacker, filed under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, was looking into whether imports of mobile cranes threaten to impair U.S. national security. The investigation was terminated following a September 8th request from Manitowoc.

The company, now managed by chief executive Aaron Ravenscroft, who played no part in the decision, has asked to withdraw its application and terminate the investigation, citing a changing economic environment due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Secretary initiated the investigation in May, which was then followed by a public comment period. After consideration of Manitowoc’s request for withdrawal, the Secretary determined that it was appropriate to terminate the investigation.

The Department of Commerce will publish a Federal Register notice informing the public of this decision.

You can click on the following links for earlier reports on this subject :
Tarrids may not be the best solution
Crane import investigation moves ahead
US to investigate crane imports
Crane import Tariff debate heats up
See Link-Belt comes out against tariffs
See Tadano joins the debate
Click here to see the full petition

Vertikal Comment

This is very good news for everyone concerned. The complaint and request never made any sense because it simply did not stack up in terms of the evidence. There may well be a case for a local content rule on major federally funded projects, but this one did not add up and simply succeeded in creating a great deal of animosity against the plaintiff from most crane buyers as well as competitors.

Simply put, Manitowoc did not – and does not – need trumped-up tariffs to help it sell cranes. All it needs is a level playing field, a significant step would be the removal of the burden of high steel tariffs that is artificially pushing up the cost of raw material for its US based production facilities.

This is some much needed positive news for the crane industry in general.