Commerce Department rules Vietnam circumvented hardwood plywood duties
August 12, 2022 | 10:56 am CDT

The Department of Commerce has ruled that hardwood plywood assembled and exported from Vietnam used Chinese core materials. After examining multiple types of HWPW, the agency ruled that the HWPW are subject to substantial antidumping and countervailing duties that range as high as 200 percent.

According to the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood, the Commerce department made the determination on a country-wide basis, meaning that this determination applies to all such HWPW exported from Vietnam.

The ruling, posted July 29 in the Federal Register, stated:

“The U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that certain hardwood plywood products and veneered panels (hardwood plywood) exported from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam), which were assembled in Vietnam using hardwood plywood inputs sourced from the People's Republic of China (China) are products of China and are subject to the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on hardwood plywood from China. Additionally, Commerce preliminarily determines that certain hardwood plywood assembled in Vietnam using hardwood plywood inputs sourced from China are circumventing the AD and CVD orders on hardwood plywood from China.”

On January 4, 2018, Commerce issued import orders on imports of hardwood plywood from China. The orders came about following affirmative findings of dumping and subsidization by the Department of Commerce and a unanimous finding by the U.S. International Trade Commission that the domestic industry is materially injured by unfairly traded Chinese imports.  The final antidumping margin is 183.36 percent for all Chinese companies and the final countervailing subsidy rates range from 22.98 to 194.90 percent.

On February 25, 2020, the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood alleged that imports of hardwood plywood that was assembled in Vietnam using core veneers, multi-ply core veneered panels, and/or veneer core platforms sourced from China are circumventing the 2018 Order. In their allegation, the petitioner requested that Commerce issue a scope ruling that certain hardwood plywood completed in Vietnam using hardwood plywood inputs manufactured in China, and imported into the United States as Vietnamese-origin plywood is within the scope of the Orders.

On June 17, 2020, Commerce published in the Federal Register the notice of initiation of these scope and anti-circumvention inquiries. In that notice Commerce explained that it intended to examine the scope inquiry request filed by the petitioner under 19 CFR 351.225(c) as part of this anti-circumvention inquiry, and that we will make a final finding with regard to the scope inquiry to determine whether any of the production scenarios identified by the petitioner are already properly considered subject to the scope of the Orders.

On April 15, 2022, Commerce extended the deadline to issue a final determination in these inquiries to October 17, 2022.



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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).