GREENSBORO, N.C. – Citing lost business from the sustained impact of imported Chinese cabinets and plywood, Columbia Forest Products said it will permanently close its Trumann, Arkansas hardwood plywood facility. Announced April 12, the company said the closure is projected to take place sometime this fall.
Remaining orders for panel products manufactured will be moved to other production sites within Columbia’s existing North American network, the company said. Columbia Forest Products had been operating the Trumann facility since 1986. The mill had 50 employees.
“The decision to close Trumann is especially difficult given the skills and commitment of the employees in Trumann,” said Greg Pray, president and CEO of Columbia Forest Products. “As employee-owners, we consider them family.”
He added, “We have fought a long and challenging battle against unfair and imbalanced Chinese trade practices. First, with hardwood plywood. More recently, imported Chinese cabinets.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's twitter feed last month noted the agency's success in rooting out merchandise misclassified as ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinetry instead of the hardwood plywood panels actually contained in the cargo.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has initiated an antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigation on wooden cabinetry and vanities imported from China to determine whether they are being unfairly subsidized and dumped in the U.S. market.
“The combined and sustained impact of these and other factors have eroded our market opportunities to the point where we just couldn’t operate the facility at a loss, waiting for the market to come back,” Pray said.
Established in 1957 and headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, Columbia Forest Products is a leading manufacturer of decorative hardwood plywood and veneer. Among the products offered is the EPA award-winning PureBond® formaldehyde-free hardwood plywood.
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