WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States International Trade Commission says 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."
 
Noting all six of its commissioners voted in favor, the  U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of hardwood plywood. A judgment on whether countervailing duties should be levied to discourage the imports is due February 13, 2017, and its preliminary antidumping duty determination due on or about April 27, 2017.
 
The issue is contentious, with U.S, plywood makers - the Hardwood Plywood Coalition - battling to restrict China's exports, while an opposing group that buys plywood for casegoods, the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (its members include the Kitchen Cabinet Makers Association) wants to allow imports to continue as is.
 
AAHP Disappointed Government Pursuing Third Investigation of 
Imported Chinese Hardwood Plywood 
 
Indeed, the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood issued a statement expressing disappointment in the ruling by the International Trade Commission. AAHP Chairman Greg Simon issued the following statement:
 
“We are disappointed that this investigation will proceed, but remain very confident that the facts continue to be on our side. This is now the third time that the federal government will conduct a thorough review and we believe they will reach the same finding as before--imported hardwood plywood products from China are traded fairly at competitive prices and have a rightful place in the global consumer market. This continued legal harassment by CFTHP against imports is putting thousands of U.S. jobs at risk during a time when manufacturing is in desperate need of revival.  Our alliance of small medium and large American importers, distributors, retailers of hardwood plywood and domestic kitchen cabinet manufacturers remains united in opposition to these bogus charges and look forward to presenting our side to the ITC and Department of Commerce in the coming months.” 
 
 
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.
 
The commission’s public report Hardwood Plywood from China, Inv. Nos. 701-TA-565 and 731-TA-1341 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 4661, January 2017) will contain its views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.
 
The International  Trade Commission says the report will be available after January 31, 2017.  After that date, it may be accessed on the USITC website at:  http://pubapps.usitc.gov/applications/publogs/qry_publication_loglist.asp.
 
 
The International Trade Commission issued this summary of past investigations:  
Hardwood Plywood from China
Investigation Nos. 701-TA-565 and 731-TA-1341 
 
Product Description: Hardwood plywood is a generally flat, multilayered plywood or other veneered panel, consisting of two or more layers or plies of wood veneers and a core, with the face and/or back veneer made of non-coniferous wood (hardwood) or bamboo, whether or not the face and/or back veneers are surface coated or otherwise covered or processed such that the grains, textures, or markings of the wood are obscured. Hardwood plywood specifically does not include certain structural plywood, products which have a face and back veneer of cork, multilayered wood flooring, plywood which has a shape or design other than a flat panel, and products made entirely from bamboo and adhesives. Hardwood plywood is generally used in the manufacturing of furniture, cabinetry, wall paneling, and similar products.
 
Status of Proceedings:
1. Type of investigations:  Preliminary antidumping and countervailing duty.
2. Petitioners: Columbia Forest Products, Greensboro, NC; Commonwealth Plywood Inc., Whitehall, NY; Murphy Plywood Co., Eugene, OR; Roseburg Forest Products Co., Roseburg, OR; States Industries Inc., Eugene, OR; and Timber Products Company, Springfield, OR.
3. Preliminary investigations instituted by the USITC: November 18, 2016.
4. Commission’s conference: December 9, 2016.
5. USITC vote: December 30, 2016.
6. USITC determinations to the U.S. Department of Commerce: January 3, 2017.
7. USITC views to the U.S. Department of Commerce: January 10, 2017.
 
U.S. Industry:
1. Number of producers in 2015: Nine.
2. Location of producers’ plants:  Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
3. Employment of production and related workers in 2015: 2,391.
4. Apparent U.S. consumption in 2015: $2.0 billion.
5. Ratio of the value of total U.S. imports to total U.S. consumption in 2015: 56.5 percent.
 
U.S. Imports:
1. From the subject country during 2015:  $660.1 million.
2. From other countries during 2015:  $465.7 million.
3. Leading sources during 2015: China, Indonesia, Russia, Canada, and Malaysia.

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