WASHINGTON, DC — In good news for U.S. producers of multi-layered wood flooring, the U.S. Department of Commerce preliminarily found that Chinese multi-layer wood flooring should continue to be subjected to tariffs and that the amounts should be raised and more Chinese manufacturers covered by them. It follows a 2016-2017 administrative review of the antidumping duty order on the flooring made in China. 

The move on flooring follows similar enforcement of U.S. antidumping measures against wooden children bedroom furniture, hardwood plywoodeven wooden pencils. Tariffs against imported Chinese kitchen cabinets and furniture components have also been levied by the U.S. The issue is being covered in webinars at WoodworkingNetwork.com and will be the subject of a presentation on Chinese kitchen cabinet tariffs at the 2019 Executive Briefing Conference by Andrew Banyas, Director of Custom Research at the Freedonia Group.

The Department of Commerce has preliminarily determined that imports of the engineered wood flooring from China were unfairly dumped in the United States at significant and heightened rates despite existing tariffs. The agency found that Chinese producers individually examined in its review dumped flooring in the United States at rates as high as 96.51 percent.
 
Liaocheng Yuantai Wooden Co., Ltd.
Similarly, for Chinese producers not individually examined in this review, but eligible for a separate rate, DOC increased the rate to 48.62 percent. These increased margins are critical as these companies were all previously subject to an AD rate of 0.00%. DOC has also increased the China-wide entity rate from 25.62 to 96.51 percent. In short, the 120 Chinese producers and exporters subject to DOC’s individual, separate, and China-wide rates in this case now face the prospect of considerably higher AD rates on imports of wood flooring.
 
“This is a very positive result for the domestic multilayered wood flooring industry, as it recognizes the high levels of dumping that have been occurring and helps ensure that the domestic industry competes on an even playing field with foreign producers,” said Tim Brightbill of Wiley Rein, counsel to the American Manufacturers of Multilayered Wood Flooring.
 
“We appreciate the Commerce Department’s hard work in calculating these strong preliminary results. We believe these high margins more accurately reflect the level of dumping of multilayered wood flooring products from China. We urge the agency to find similar rates in its final results.”
 
Commerce is expected to issue its final results in this review in April 2019. While high preliminary margins indicate the level of dumping likely to be found in its final results, the rate at which the entries subject to the review will be liquidated and the cash deposits moving forward will not finalized until Commerce makes its final determination. 
 
By way of background, on December 8, 2011, Commerce published antidumping duties and countervailing duty orders on multilayered wood flooring from China. These tariffs held until a sunset review required to maintain them after five years. On November 1, 2016, Commerce began the first sunset review of the Orders on multilayered wood flooring from China, and received a notice of intent to participate in these reviews from the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity, a group of U.S. manufacturers.
 
"As a result of its reviews, Commerce determined that revocation of the Orders on multilayered wood flooring from China would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping and countervailable subsidies, and notified the ITC of the magnitude of the margins and net countervailable subsidy rates likely to prevail should these orders be revoked," the department said in a January 2018 Federal Register announcement. On December 19, 2017, the ITC published its determination that revocation of the orders would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.
 
"As a result of the determinations by Commerce and the ITC that revocation of the orders would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and countervailable subsidies and material injury to an industry in the United States....Commerce hereby orders the continuation of these orders on multilayered wood flooring from China. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect Antidumping Duties and Countervailing Duties cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise."
 
For Chinese producers not individually examined in this review, but eligible for the separate rate, Commerce increased the antidumping rate to 48.62%. These companies were all previously subject to an antidumping rate of 0.00%. 
 
Commerce has also increased the China-wide entity rate from 25.62% to 96.51%. In short, the 120 Chinese producers and exporters subject to Commerce’s individual, separate, and China-wide rates in this case now face the prospect of considerably higher antidumping rates on imports of wood flooring.
 
“This is a very positive result for the domestic multilayered wood flooring industry, as it recognizes the high levels of dumping that have been occurring and helps ensure that the domestic industry competes on an even playing field with foreign producers,” said Tim Brightbill of Wiley Rein, counsel to the American Manufacturers of Multilayered Wood Flooring. “We believe these high margins more accurately reflect the level of dumping of multilayered wood flooring products from China.” 
 

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