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  • Thomas Russell

Wood flooring manufacturers face preliminary antidumping duties

Several wood flooring producers also make furniture

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In what marks the latest antidumping case to affect China, the U.S. Department of Commerce has announced preliminary antidumping duties ranging from zero to 82.65% on Chinese wood flooring producers.

Some 73 companies, including flooring and furniture producers Guangdong Yihua Timber Industry Co. Ltd. and Fine Furniture Shanghai, have received separate rate status and have been assigned preliminary duties of 10.88%.

Representatives from both companies were not available for immediate comment.

Companies that did not receive a separate rate status have been assigned a preliminary China-wide rate of 82.65%

The case covers multilayered wood flooring composed of two or more layers of wood veneers along with a core made of hardwood or softwood veneer, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, high density fiberboard and stone and/or plastic composite.

The case is of interest to the furniture industry because a number of the wood flooring producers also make furniture. The flooring business is believed to be a highly profitable and thus important part of their business.

This is the second time in the past two months that the DOC has announced preliminary duties on the wood flooring producers. The other case, announced in late March, is a countervailing subsidy case in which duties are assigned to producers said to have received subsidies from the Chinese government.

The antidumping case relates to the actual pricing of the wood flooring, which U.S. manufacturers, or petitioners supporting the case, claim is priced below fair market values.

The lead petitioner, the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity, is the same for both cases. It includes a group of manufacturers that claim that their industry has been injured due to both the alleged illegal pricing of Chinese made wood flooring as well as the government subsidies received by their Chinese counterparts.

The DOC will assign final duties in the countervailing duty case in June and is expected to assign final duties in the antidumping case in August.

Whether or not the manufacturers have to pay duties also depends on an International Trade Commission investigation into whether the Chinese wood flooring imports have caused material injury to the U.S. wood flooring producers. The ITC is expected to make a determination in the countervailing subsidy case on July 21 and is expected to make a determination in the antidumping case on Sept. 16.

If the ITC determines the producers have faced material injury, the DOC will issue an order for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin imposing final duties. Up to that point, it instructs U.S. Customs and Border protection to collect a cash deposit or bond based on the preliminary rates.

As with the wooden bedroom furniture case and the uncovered innerspring units antidumping cases, these duties are assigned to the factories, but paid by importers of record.

For a full list of the Chinese companies affected in the antidumping case, visit

http://ia.ita.doc.gov/download/factsheets/factsheet-prc-mwf-prelim-20110520.pdf

For a list of companies cited in the countervailing subsidy case, visit

http://ia.ita.doc.gov/download/factsheets/factsheet-prc-mwf-cvd-prelim-032211.pdf

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