WASHINGTON - Chinese hardwood plywood has been given affirmative final determinations by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) in its antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations.
On Tuesday the DOC announced findings that show imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from China were sold in the United States at dumping margins ranging from 55.76 percent to 121.65 percent. It also determined that all but three companies received countervailing subsidies, ranging from 13.58 percent to 27.16 percent.
A hearing is set for Sept. 19 by the U.S. International Trade Commission, with a final injury determination scheduled for late October. If the ITC also makes an affirmative decision that imports of the products "materially injure, or threaten material injury, to the domestic industry," then antidumping and countervailing duties will be issued by the DOC.
Hardwood and decorative plywood is used in kitchen cabinetry, furniture, paneling and other components as well as engineered flooring. 2012 imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from China had an estimated value of $747.9 million, according to the DOC.
It was in September 2012 that the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood filed an unfair trade petition against China for products "sold in the United States at dumped prices." Opposing the petition, the American Alliance of Hardwood Plywood (AAHP), has claimed the countervailing ruling will not only penalize jobs, but “severely damage the American industries that depend on this unique hardwood plywood.”
In a statement on Wednesday, the AAHP called the DOC's decision "biased and prejudicial." "This is a deathblow to the U.S. cabinet industry and many other manufacturers that heavily rely on imported Chinese hardwood plywood," said AAHP Co-Chairman Greg Simon. Claiming that the DOC used Bulgaria for its cost data as opposed to the Philippines, used in the preliminary investigation, Simon added,"The methodology in the duty determination by the Department of Commerce clearly ignores sound market variables, equates China and Bulgaria, and is effectively putting the nail in the coffin for an entire industry."
"Artificial price spikes and supply constraints will eliminate many American jobs at a critical time in our economy." AAHP Co-Chairman Gregg Wilkinson said in the statement. "Those companies and jobs that do survive will be shackled by federal bureaucracy for years, or even decades, to come."