WASHINGTON - Robobond Ltd. ``dumped'' so little of its plastic picture frame product on the U.S. market that the federal government removed it from consideration in a complaint filed by a Virginia company, according to an Oct. 2 notice in the Federal Register. Robobond, of London, and its extruded polystyrene picture frame stock, Emafyl, had been the chief target of a complaint by competing PE frame stock maker Marley Mouldings Inc. of Marion, Va. Marley initially claimed in September 1995 that Robobond was dumping its competing product in the United States to the detriment of Marley's product.
The Commerce Department, in a Sept. 26 ruling, determined that Emafyl had a de minimus, or legally negligible, dumping margin. The margin is a measure of the price differential between home market and export pricing. Emafyl has, according to its manufacturers, held up to 95 percent of the North American plastic picture frame import market. As a result of the de minimus ruling, Robobond was removed from the complaint, according to the Federal Register.
Howard Simons, managing director of Robobond in London, said, ``The dumping case has been concluded, proving us innocent of all allegations made against us by Marley.''
Two other British manufacturers with much smaller shares of the North American market, Eco-Frame plc of Worcestershire and Magnolia Group plc of Leicester-shire, were found by the Com-merce Department to have a dumping margin of 20 and 84 percent respectively. However, to seek Commerce Department sanctions on a foreign manufacturer for alleged dumping practices, a U.S. maker also must prove injury arising from the dumping. Marley, saying such pursuit was too costly, dropped its petition against the two remaining English manufacturers on Sept. 27.
Marley, Robobond and National Picture Frame Inc. of Greenwood, Miss., control about 80 percent of the extruded foam picture frame market in the United States, Canada and Mexico.