To All Timber Products Company Customers:

As you will recall from previous communications, Timber Products Company is a member of the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP), an organization composed of U.S. manufacturers of hardwood and decorative plywood. Last fall the coalition filed an unfair trade petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission regarding hardwood plywood imports from China. The petition called for the establishment of countervailing and antidumping duties based on the extensive data submitted by the coalition.

Yesterday, the Department of Commerce announced its preliminary affirmative determination in the countervailing duty portion of its investigation. The result of this preliminary determination is either a 22.63 or 27.16 percent duty deposit requirement, in the form of cash, as a condition for Chinese hardwood plywood to enter the U.S. market. Under U.S. law, the U.S. importer is responsible for ensuring that the correct deposit is made upon entry. This preliminary determination named three Chinese manufacturers that are, for now, exempt from this deposit requirement.

The preliminary determination in the parallel antidumping investigation of these same imports could further increase the liability for cash deposits by importers of the Chinese products. That determination is expected to be announced in late April.

Chinese hardwood plywood has emerged as a substantial part of the North American marketplace through what we believe to be unfair trade practices. This preliminary determination is the first in what we see to be several steps by the federal government that could drastically change the price and availability of Chinese hardwood plywood sold in the U.S.

Over our 95 years in business, Timber Products Company has shown it will manage changes and volatility in the marketplace with our customer’s needs at the forefront of our thinking and planning. At this early stage, we won’t speculate on how this action by the U.S. government will play out in the marketplace.

We will continue to provide you with updates on this issue as it will have a significant impact on all users of hardwood plywood in North America.

Source: Timber Products Company

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