ITC Testimony in Chinese Plywood Dumping Case
By Carl Spencer, Owner, Spencer Cabinetry | Posted: 10/24/2013 9:24PM
Carl Spencer, owner of Spencer Cabinetry, Monroe, WA, shared the transcript of his September 2013 testimony before the International Trade Commission regarding the Chinese Plywood dumping case.
UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION
HARDWOOD PLYWOOD FROM
Inv. Nos. 701-TA-490THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
and 731-TA-1204 (Final) FINAL HEARINGSEPTEMBER 19, 2013
Testimony of Carl Spencer, Co-Owner, Spencer Cabinetry
Dottie and Carl Spencer, Spencer Cabinetry. My name is Carl Spencer. Forty years ago this past April I got a job running a panel saw for Armstrong Cabinets in Ottawa, Kansas. While I was there, I mastered every cabinetmaking task on the shop floor and every business task in the office.
Since that time, I have been recruited several times throughout the industry, managing plants for tiny Draper DBS, middle size Omega Cabinets, and Masco, the very largest cabinet manufacturer at that time.
Eight years ago last week, my wife and I took our shot at the Great American Dream and started Spencer Cabinetry from our life’s savings, with just the two of us as its only employees. Despite the recession we grew and steadily created jobs.
We are very proud of our company and our 15 employees. Over the last eight years we have maintained one of the fastest growth rates in North America, currently approaching $2.0 million in sales.
The kitchen cabinet industry overall is currently almost a $9 billion dollar industry which has a very low barrier of entry and is therefore highly fragmented. Roughly one-third of the U.S. cabinet market is controlled by seven companies (including Norcraft), but 60% of the industry is made up of approximately nine thousand companies like mine, all under $15 million per year. We are, in fact, the backbone of our industry, both in terms of aggregate revenues and aggregate jobs.
Spencer Cabinetry’s Autumn Leaf with domestic cherry hardwood plywood is used on the primary exterior wood for the door panels, drawer front panels, flush-finished end panels, as well as wainscot panels of the island, and the exposed interior. Imported thin veneer plywood is used for cabinet parts not visible in photo. Small cabinet companies like mine struggle for existence every single day. We cannot afford attorneys to plead our case, let alone lobbyists. While we’re awake, we’re either selling cabinets or making them with our own hands, putting bread on the table for our employees and ourselves the old-fashioned way. This daily imperative is why this room is not overflowing with many more from my 60% of our industry, whose predicament I now must represent.
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