U.S. slaps duties on $4.4 Billion of Cabinet Imports from China

$4.4 billion worth of imported cabinets is the next item to join the long list of Chinese goods slapped with U.S. levies in the U.S.- China trade dispute, reported Bloomberg.

The Commerce Department said on 6 August that  it will ask the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of the wooden cabinets and vanities from China, based on subsidy rates of as much as 229 per cent. It also issued a preliminary verdict in response to a petition filed earlier this year by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance, alleging at least $2 billion in harm from the Chinese shipments.

The petition alleged dumping margins of more than 200 per cent. Tim Brightbill, a trade lawyer from Wiley Rein LLP in Washington representing the industry, said in March that Chinese exporters get double-digit subsidy margins based on numerous programmes supporting their domestic industry, which included discounted land, electricity, raw materials, grants, discounted loans and export incentives.

“Today’s determination gives the American kitchen cabinet industry the hope it needs in our fight against China’s unfair trade practices,” Stephen Wellborn, director of product and research development at U.S. manufacturer Wellborn Cabinet and a member of the American alliance, said in an emailed statement.



The cash deposits will be collected from Henan AiDiJia Furniture Co. and Deway International Trade Co., which were found to have gotten a subsidy of 229 per cent. The Ancientree Cabinet Co. will have to pay a subsidy rate of 11 per cent; Dalian Meisen Woodworking Co. 16 per cent; Rizhao Foremost Woodwork Manufacturing Co. 22 per cent; and 16 per cent for the other Chinese producers not selected for individual review, according to the Commerce statement.

A final determination will be issued in December by Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to make a final ruling Jan. 30 on whether it will approve the countervailing duties, according to the government statement.

However, a group that represents importers of cabinets expects the ITC will overturn the decision, saying the companies that filed the case won’t increase U.S. employment if the countervailing duties stand.

“Many of the companies who filed this case import products from China themselves and won’t bring back jobs to the U.S. if duties are imposed on imports, but will instead shift more of their production to already established supply chains in countries like Vietnam and Mexico,” the American Coalition of Cabinet Distributors said in a statement. “We are confident that the government will determine that the petitioners are not being injured by imports of ready-to-assemble cabinets from China.”