As tariffs hit China's woodworking machinery, wood products also affected
July 6, 2018 | 6:17 pm CDT
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tariffs of 25 percent were levied on Chinese-manufactured woodworking machinery and panel processing equipment beginning Friday, July 6. 
It is part of a trade battle being waged on several fronts by the Trump Administration, and which appears to be escalating as China retaliates with tariffs of its own - primarily on agricultural products, tobacco, and vehicles.
The U.S. begins collecting (click for list25 percent tariffs on planing, milling or molding machines for working wood, as well as grinding, sanding or polishing machines, bending or assembling machines and related machine tools for working wood. A preliminary list issued in April by the was narrowed to a final list of 818 items with wood industry technology among them, issued June 15 by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Also included are presses for making particleboard or fiber building board of wood or other ligneous materials, and machinery for treating wood. President Trump has called for an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports. Analysts speculate that this list could include more consumer products, possibly furniture - which ranks 6th among the top 10 imports from China to the U.S. (after vehicles, metals, plastics, apparel, and footwear).  In terms of manufactured goods, furniture ranks fourth, as follows: electrical machinery ($129 billion), machinery ($97 billion), furniture and bedding ($29 billion), toys and sports equipment ($24 billion) and footwear ($15 billion).
The wood industry news channel Fordaq cites a report by the International Tropical Timber Organization Trade of wood products between China and the U.S. already trending downward. Late last year the U.S. slapped China's plywood industry with countervailing duties after a Commerce Department analysis showed the engineered panels were being sold at its cost below cost of manufacture.
Data from China’s Customs Department show the value of wood products trade between China and the U.S. fell 16 percent in March 2018. China’s imports also dropped by 5 percent, though overall first quarter showed a 9 percent increase in Chinese exports of wood products: China's imports rose 6 percent to $2.28 billion during the period, while its exports to the U.S. rose 10 percent to $3.98 billion.  
China’s fiberboard exports to the U.S. fell 11 percent  to 71,200 cubic metres and plywood exports to the U.S. dropped 31 percent to 360,000 cubic metres in the first three months of 2018, says Fordaq, noting that as exports to the U.S. decline China's exports of panel products to Nigeria, Kenya and the UK are rising.

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.