April 26, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 2:10 pm

CT's RBC Bearings gets $3.6M in antidumping relief

Oxford's RBC Bearings Inc. on Wednesday collected some $3.6 million in relief from a defunct federal tariff program that shielded U.S. steelmakers from underpriced foreign steel dumped on the American market, authorities say.

RBC makes precision plain, roller and ball bearings for industrial, aerospace and defense industries worldwide.

The former U.S. Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act, also known as the "Byrd amendment,'' was enacted in 2000 but repealed six years later amid a firestorm from angry European and Asian trading partners. It shielded U.S. makers against unfairly priced ball bearings imported from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and Japan.

Though dismantled, federal trade regulators continue to review and act on complaints filed by RBC and other bearing makers before the act expired on Sept. 30, 2007, authorities say. The Timken Co. and former Torrington Co., bought by Ohio-based Timken in 2003, have been the largest recipients of relief payments through the former dumping act, authorities say.

Antidumping duties for merchandise entering the U.S. after that date now go directly to the Treasury and are not distributed.

RBC was among manufacturers who balked at part of the act requiring a portion of eligible distributions be held back pending resolution.

It was the release of six years' worth of those "holdbacks'' -- totaling about $3.6 million -- that RBC said it received on Wednesday.

RBC said the sum will be recorded on its books in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.

The company noted there is a chance, pending the outcome of a federal appeals case, that the U.S. could claw back some or all of the payment.

But given current circumstances, RBC said it "believes that this possibility is remote.''

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