China Plywood Wars: Unfair Prices or Unjust Barriers?

By Rich Christianson | Posted: 09/04/2013 8:21PM


One of the news sagas we are tracking is the antidumping investigation being pursued by the International Trade Commission (ITC) against hardwood plywood imported from China.

The ITC was scheduled to finalize countervailing duties on imported Chinese plywood this month. In February, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) ruled in favor of the unfair trade petition initiated by the Coalition of Fair Trade for Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP), a group made up of major U.S. hardwood plywood producers. The DOC set preliminary duties of 22.63% or 27.16% on the majority of Chinese plywood, which ITC estimated represents about one-third of the $707.3 million of hardwood plywood consumed in the U.S.

The plywood antidumping petition quickly triggered a battle pitting the petitioners, backed by the Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Assn., vs. importers and buyers of hardwood plywood, coming together and adopting name American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP). Whereas CFTHP claims Chinese plywood is unfairly subsidized by the Chinese government and “dumped” at below market prices, the AAHP says the antidumping case seeks to create an unwarranted trade barrier that will raise prices.

How hot is this battle? A guest blog by Greg Simon, chairman of AAHP, posted at on Aug. 5 attracted more than 3,800 page views, generating reader comments, some siding with the petitioners for combating “junk” imports, others noting they have already been forced to raise the prices of their products made with hardwood plywood.

We will report on the ensuing phases of the Chinese Plywood Trade War. Feel free to contact me directly if you’d like to get on our e-newsletter list.


About the Author

Rich Christianson

Rich Christianson is Associate Publisher and Editor at Large of Woodworking Network. During his 25+ years covering the wood products industry, Rich has toured hundreds of manufacturing plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His reporting has covered everything from the state of the industry and impact of wood imports to technology and environmental issues. In his current capacity he is responsible for editing the daily Woodworking Network Update newsletter and coordinating events including the annual Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Canada’s biennial Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. He can be contacted at or follow him on Google+.

Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.

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