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ITC: U.S. industry injured by wood flooring from China

Move clears way to impose import duties

WASHINGTON — The U.S. International Trade Commission voted Wednesday that the U.S. wood flooring industry has been injured due to imports of unfairly priced Chinese-made wood flooring.

The 4-2 vote means that the U.S. Department of Commerce can begin issuing both antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese wood flooring imports.

Antidumping duties are assigned based on charges that the foreign industry is selling product at less than fair market values. Countervailing duties are based on charges that a foreign manufacturer receives direct financial support from its government.

Such duties are assigned to foreign manufacturers, but paid by U.S. importers of record of the merchandise.

The product covered in the new ruling includes wood flooring composed of two or more layers of wood veneers in combination with a core substrate. Such products are commonly used in residential and commercial wood flooring as well as in schools, stores and gymnasiums.

The case is of interest to the furniture industry because some Chinese furniture factories that supply the U.S. market also produce flooring. Some furniture retailers also carry wood flooring as part of their product mix.

In mid-October, the DOC announced antidumping duty rates ranging from 0% to 58.84%, pending the outcome of the ITC injury determination.

Seventy-four Chinese wood flooring producers received an antidumping rate of 3.31%.

Also in the antidumping segment, Zhejiang Yuhua Timber Co. Ltd. received a 0% duty, while Zhejiang Layo Wood Industry Co. Ltd received a rate of 3.98% and The Samling Group received a duty rate of 2.63%.

In October, the DOC also announced subsidy rates of 0.33% to 26.73%, also pending the outcome of the ITC injury determination.

Fine Furniture Shanghai, a producer of furniture for the U.S. and other markets, was assigned a subsidy rate of 1.5%. The same rate was applied to its affiliate companies, Great Wood (Tonghua) Ltd. and Fine Furniture Plantation (Shishou) Ltd.

Zhejiang Yuhua Timber Co. received a 0.47% subsidy rate and another 124 producers received a subsidy rate of 26.73% because they did not respond to DOC requests for information.

These rates represent the initial cash deposit rates importers must pay on goods shipped to the U.S. market. As has occurred in the wooden bedroom furniture case, final retroactive duties, which can differ from the preliminary ones, for a given year can be imposed following future annual administrative reviews of shipping activity.

For a full list of the Chinese producers named in the report, visit http://ia.ita.doc.gov/ia-highlights-and-news.html and click on the link to the Oct. 12 fact sheet.

The petitioner in the investigation is the Coalition for Hardwood Parity, which includes Anderson Hardwood Floors, Award Hardwood Floors, From the Forest, Howell Hardwood Flooring, Mannington Mills, Nydree Flooring and Shaw Inds. Group.

The investigation found that from 2007 to 2009, imports of multilayered wood flooring increased by 76%, from $73 million to $119.7 million.

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