American importers react to hefty duties on Chinese hardwood plywood

The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) reacted with shock when the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) announced its final antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese hardwood plywood imports.

Claiming politics were at play, AAHP Chairman Greg Simon said, “These rates are based purely on politics, not on any type of marketplace reality. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of American workers will pay the price in lost jobs. Industries including the kitchen cabinet, recreational vehicle, window and door, furniture, homebuilding and flooring industries all utilise the Chinese hardwood plywood because it is distinctly different from American hardwood plywood.”

The rates, scheduled to be announced on Nov 7, were kept secret during President Trump’s visit to China. The antidumping duties reach 183.36 per cent for all Chinese companies while countervailing duties ranging from 22.98 per cent to 194.6 per cent were imposed for others, depending on each Chinese manufacturer’s shipping and pricing.

“The DOC’s high duty rates have raised the stakes for American manufacturers who cannot get this raw material at home,” said Simon.

Witnesses from these end-use industries showed up to testify before the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) in opposition to this case, alongside the AAHP, with letters of support from trade associations representing over a million American workers.

The AAHP was supported in its defense against the antidumping/countervailing duty case by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association and the International Wood Products Association.

Simon noted that “the domestic plywood companies had nobody show up for them except a parade of politicians.  Not one actual user of the plywood testified on their side.  That’s because the story they are telling the ITC is bogus.”

He is hopeful that the ITC remains immune from political influence, follows the rule of law and terminates this flawed petition.

The ITC has the last word on whether duties will remain in place and will vote on Dec 1.