WASHINGTON - The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood said it will fight what it calls a "protectionist campaign" by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood as the CFTHP brings suit against the federal government on the issue of hardwood plywood from China.
Filed against the United States in the U.S. Court of International Trade, the complaint by the CFTHP alleges the decision by the International Trade Association was not supported by substantial evidence on the record or in accordance with the law. The CFTHP is seeking judicial review of that decision.
On Nov. 5, 2013, the International Trade Commission ruled 5-0 that hardwood plywood panels from China do not injure or threaten injury to the domestic hardwood plywood industry. The ITC's decision, which contradicted its 2012 findings, also ran contrary to the Sept. 17 final determination by the Department of Commerce that Chinese hardwood and decorative plywood sold in the U.S. was subsidized at less than its fair value. Both the ITC and DOC would have had to find that U.S. producers have been harmed by imports of hardwood plywood from China in order for antidumping and countervailing duties to be assessed. Hardwood and decorative plywood is used in a variety of wood products, including cabinetry, flooring and furniture.
The AAHP said Wednesday it will "intervene in the lawsuit on the side of the United States and defend its unanimous victory in the court." AAHP and its coalition members include purchasers of imported plywood as well as the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, representing $8.6 billion in domestic sales and approximately 100,000 American workers.
AAHP counsel Jeffrey Grimson, Mowry & Grimson PLLC, said the group was confident that the courts would reject the CFTHP's claims against the United States.
"The CFTHP's claims against Chinese imported plywood were investigated thoroughly by the ITC and rejected unanimously in a 5-0 vote. Now the CFTHP has aimed its legal weapons against the United States government. AAHP looks forward to standing alongside the United States to show that the ITC correctly rejected the CFTHP's claims," said AAHP Co-Chairman Greg Simon.
Gregg Wilkinson, AAHP Co-Chair, added, "This is yet another example of the CFTHP undermining and harming their biggest customers - the United States kitchen cabinetmakers. Already the cabinetmakers suffered severe disruption at the hands of the CFTHP until the ITC finally threw the case out entirely."
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