• Powell Slaughter

DOC: China is dumping hardwood plywood

Commerce determines China-wide dumping margin of 183.36%, duties to range from 22.98% to 194.9%

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Commerce has made a final determination that China is dumping hardwood plywood in the U.S. market.

In an announcement Monday, the Commerce Dept. determined that exporters from China sold hardwood plywood products in the United States at 183.36% less than fair value.  Commerce also determined that China is providing unfair subsidies to its producers of hardwood plywood products at rates ranging from 22.98% to 194.9%.

The Commerce Dept. found that dumping has occurred by mandatory respondents Shandong Dongfang Bayley Wood Co. Ltd., and Linyi Chengen Import and Export Co. Ltd. at a margin of 183.36%.

The Commerce Dept. established a dumping margin of 183.36% for the non-selected respondents eligible for a separate rate and a dumping margin of 183.36% for all other producers/exporters in China that are part of the China-wide entity, based on adverse facts available because they did not cooperate to the best of their ability.

The Commerce Dept. calculated final subsidy rates of 22.98% and 194.9% for mandatory respondents Linyi Sanfortune Wood Co. Ltd. and Shandong Dongfang Bayley Wood Co. Ltd., respectively.

The 61 companies that did not respond to The Commerce Dept.’s quantity and value questionnaire also received a subsidy rate of 194.9% because, by not responding, they did not cooperate to the best of their ability. Commerce established a final subsidy rate of 22.98% for all other producers/exporters in China.

The Commerce Dept. will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of hardwood plywood products from China based on the final rates.

“The dumping and unfair government subsidization of products is something this Administration takes very seriously,” said Secretary Ross. “While the United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with all countries, this is not our idea of a properly functioning trade relationship.”

In 2016, imports of hardwood plywood products from China were valued at an estimated $1.12 billion.

If the U.S. International Trade Commission makes affirmative final injury determinations, The Commerce Dept. will issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders. If the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.

The Department of Commerce’s determination is a result of a full-year investigation. In December, DOC published its commencement of the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of certain hardwood plywood products imported from China.

In April, DOC preliminarily found that the Government of China unfairly subsidizes its hardwood plywood producers and imposed preliminary countervailing duties on Chinese hardwood plywood imports. At that time, the preliminary duties ranged from 9.89 to 11.09%. In June, DOC preliminarily found that Chinese hardwood plywood was being sold in the United States for less than fair value and imposed preliminary antidumping duties of up to 114.72%.

The petitions were filed on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood and its individual members: Columbia Forest Products, Commonwealth Plywood Inc., Murphy Plywood, Roseburg Forest Products Co., States Inds. Inc. and Timber Products Co.

“We are extremely pleased with these results, which reflect the level of China’s dumping and subsidies that U.S. hardwood plywood producers have been forced to deal with for years," said Tim Brightbill of Wiley Rein, trade counsel to the Coalition. "We remain focused on an affirmative injury determination at the U.S. International Trade Commission, and we look forward to securing the long-term trade relief that is so needed by this industry and its thousands of workers.”

“Today’s announcement is a strong win for the U.S. hardwood plywood industry,” said Brad Thompson, CEO of Columbia Forest Products. “The duties imposed send a clear signal to American hardwood plywood workers that the Trump administration is ready to stand up for this historic American industry.”

Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a focus of the Trump administration. From Jan. 20 through Nov. 13 this year, Commerce initiated 77 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 61% increase from 48 in the previous year.

Commerce currently maintains 412 AD and CVD orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Powell SlaughterPowell Slaughter | Senior Editor

I'm Powell Slaughter, senior editor at Furniture/Today. I returned to the publication in January 2015 after nine years of writing about furniture retail strategies and best practices at a monthly magazine focusing on home furnishings retail operations. Prior to that, I spent 10 years with F/T covering wood furniture, the last five of those as case goods editor. While I cover occasional, home entertainment and home office here, a major responsibility is expanding our attention to the logistics side of the industry. I hope my articles will encourage a dialogue with retailers, vendors, third-party logistics specialists and carriers. I’d love to hear your ideas, concerns and suggestions for smoother flow of material and goods.

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