WASHINGTON - Hardwood plywood imported from China came a step closer to facing antidumping duties following a unanimous vote today by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

Chinese Hardwood Plywood Antidumping Complaint Has Merit: ITCUSITC commissioners voted 6-0 "that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of hardwood plywood from China that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value."

The USITC's vote means that the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) will continue its probe of Chinese hardwood plywood imports. The DOC is expected to provide preliminary countervailing duty determination on or about December 21. The DOC is further scheduled to issue A prelminary antidumping duty determination on or about March 6, 2013.

In its "status of proceedings," the USITC estimated that the U.S. consumed ann estimated $2 billion of hardwood plywood. Of this estimated total, approximately 66.5 percent was imported with China accounting for approximately $707.3 million.

The vote upheld an antidumping petition filed in late September by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP). The CFTHP said the petition is supported by a number of U.S. hardwood plywood manufacturers, which it says represens approximately 80 percent of domestic production, Member companies of the CFTHP include Columbia Forest Products, Commonwealth Plywood Co. Ltd., Murphy Plywood, Roseburg Forest Products Co., States Industries LLC and Timber Products Co.

"Over the last several years, the share of the U.S. hardwood plywood market captured by imports from China has grown from single or low double-digits to about 50 percent," the CFTHP claims. Its petition documents antidumping and countervailing duty margins in excess of 300 percent.

A group calling itself the American Alliance of Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) was formed to challenge the antidumping petition. The AAHP says the hardwood plywood product manufactured in China uses thinner veneer than that which is manufactured in the United States. AAHP members include Far East American and Liberty Woods, American Pacific Plywood Inc., Benchmark International, Canusa Wood Products Ltd., Holland, Ike Trading Co. Ltd., InterGlobal Forest, Laminate Technologies, McCorry Group, Medallion Forest Products, Northwest Hardwoods, Patriot Timber Products, Plywood Tropics USA Inc., Taraca Pacific, TigerPly and US Ply.

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