WASHINGTON - The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) reacted with shock when the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its final antidumping and countervailing duty rates. Originally intended to be announced November 7, the duty rates were kept secret during President Trump's visit with Chinese President Xi.
Claiming the rates to be purely based on politics, the AAHP, made up of many companies who import hardwood plywood from China, expressed its disappointment:
“These rates are based purely on politics, not on any type of marketplace reality. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of American workers will pay the price in lost jobs. Industries including the kitchen cabinet, recreational vehicle, window and door, furniture, homebuilding and flooring industries all utilize the Chinese hardwood plywood because it is distinctly different from American hardwood plywood,” said AAHP Chairman Greg Simon.
Antidumping margins of 183.36 percent were imposed on all Chinese companies, as well as countervailing duties ranging from 22.98 percent to 194.9 percent, based on the specifics of each Chinese manufacturer's shipments and pricing.
Simon noted that witnesses from end-use industries showed up to testify before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in opposition to this case, alongside the AAHP, with letters of support from trade associations representing over a million American workers. The AAHP was supported in its defense against the antidumping/countervailing duty case by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association and the International Wood Products Association.
“The domestic plywood companies had nobody show up for them except a parade of politicians," said Simon. "Not one actual user of the plywood testified on their side. That’s because the story they are telling the ITC is bogus.”
“Today’s announcement is a strong win for the U.S. hardwood plywood industry,” said Brad Thompson, CEO of Columbia Forest Products of Greensboro, North Carolina. “The duties imposed send a clear signal to American hardwood plywood workers that the Trump administration is ready to stand up for this historic American industry.”
The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood, which initiated the complaint that triggered the investigation, also cheered the news.
AAHP hopes the ITC, who has the last word on whether or not the duties will remain in place, will rule in its favor.
“We remain confident that the ITC will keep its eye on the facts and law before it,” said Simon. “We are hopeful the ITC remains immune from political influence, follows the rule of law and once again terminates this flawed petition. The DOC’s high duty rates have raised the stakes for American manufacturers who cannot get this raw material at home,” said Simon.
The ITC will vote December 1.
The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood is an organization of American importers, distributors and manufacturers of hardwood plywood, along with other U.S. companies that depend on the availability of global resources.