WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce announced affirmative final antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) circumvention rulings involving exports of hardwood plywood products from China, finding that hardwood and decorative plywood with veneers made of certain types of softwood (radiata and/or agathis pine) circumvent existing orders.
 
Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to continue to collect AD and CVD cash deposits on certain imports of hardwood plywood products produced with face and back veneers of radiata and/or agathis pine. These duties will be imposed on future imports, and on any unliquidated entries since September 18, 2018, the date on which Commerce initiated this circumvention inquiry.
 
The applicable cash deposits range from 171.55 to 183.36 percent for the AD orders, and 22.98 to 194.90 percent for the CVD orders. U.S. law provides that Commerce may find circumvention of AD/CVD orders when it is alleged that later-developed merchandise may be covered by an existing order.  
 
In 2018, the value of imports of hardwood plywood from China were valued at an estimated $96 million.
 
This circumvention inquiry was conducted after a petition from the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood, which includes Columbia Forest Products (Greensboro, NC), Commonwealth Plywood, Inc. (Whitehall, NY), States Industries, Inc. (Eugene, OR), Murphy Plywood (Eugene, OR), and Timber Products Company (Springfield, OR).
 
In February 2018, the Coalition filed a petition with Commerce, asking Commerce to find that hardwood plywood products with face and back veneers made of softwood species suitable for decorative uses are circumventing the recently issued antidumping and countervailing duty orders on hardwood plywood products from China.
 
In September 2018, Commerce declared certain types of hardwood plywood from China - those that are packaged as kitchen cabinets - belong to a group of products being sold at unfairly low prices in the U.S., and that those products would be subject to anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
 
The Department's final scope specifically states that Chinese hardwood plywood used in kitchen cabinets would be subject to antidumping duties unless it is packaged for sale to a consumer end-user of the cabinet - with all components necessary to assemble the cabinet in a single, discreet package. 
 
If that exclusion isn't fully met, importers will owe 200 percent duties on these products going forward.
 
The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration, says Commerce. To date, the Trump Administration has issued 31 preliminary or final affirmative determinations in anti-circumvention inquiries – a 182 percent increase from the number of such determinations made during the comparable period in the previous administration.

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