Cabinetmakers applaud bipartisan Senate letter calling for China trade enforcement
February 14, 2020 | 6:12 pm UTC
Members of American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance (AKCA), a coalition of cabinetmakers formed to fight against Chinese trade practices, are applauding a February 10 U.S. Senate letter calling for greater trade law enforcement.
In the letter addressed to Chairman David S. Johanson of the International Trade Commission (ITC), U.S. Senators highlight how China’s unfair trade practices in the kitchen cabinet industry are threatening 250,000 American jobs. 
"The American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance is praising a bipartisan Senate letter signed by 25 current members of the U.S. Senate," wrote the AKCA in a release.
“Some estimates have found that the American cabinet industry has suffered $4 billion in harm as a result of China’s unfair trade practices," says Showplace Cabinetry President Bill Allen in the  release. "When foreign countries are allowed to take these actions, workers and their families right here at home are harmed."
The letter comes soon after a similar February 5 letter from the House of Representatives - also sent to Johanson. In that letter, Spanberger (D-VA) and 40 members of Congress expressed their support for American wooden cabinet and vanity manufacturers and their employees. Spanberger also urged the ITC to make sure U.S. trade remedy laws are fully enforced when examining instances of Chinese kitchen cabinet dumping.
The letter is the result of a March 6, 2019 AKCA petition, which claimed China's "manipulation and unfair trade practices" have resulted in a significant rise of the Chinese cabinetry imports, creating a threat to the estimated $9.6 billion American industry. The scope of the petition covers both face-frame and frameless cabinets, made of solid wood and composite panel construction, RTA cabinetry, cabinetry components including doors, drawers, back and end panels, as well as desks, shelves, and tables that are attached to or incorporated in the merchandise.

The petition has been countered by the American Coalition of Cabinet Distributors, a group made up of U.S. distributors, dealers, contractors, installers and importers, which claims imposition of the proposed duties could significantly impact the RTA option from the U.S. marketplace. They say RTA companies serve a niche demand for RTA cabinets in the U.S. that prioritize limited selection and short lead times over customized products that take many weeks to complete.  

A final ruling will take place on February 20. Both sides appear confident the ITC will rule in their favor.


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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected]