Washington – The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) reacted today to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) of its preliminary antidumping duties on hardwood plywood from China.
“The high duties announced today have no connection to reality and will be devastating to the more than 100,000 American jobs that rely on hardwood plywood from both the U.S. and China,” stated AAHP Chairman Greg Simon. The only company for which DOC calculated an antidumping margin was found to have an antidumping rate of zero, meaning the company was not dumping, wholly refuting the petitioners’ claims. DOC averaged that zero together with another company that failed to respond to derive the fictitious 57.36 percent applied to over a hundred fully cooperating exporters and plywood mills.
“To all U.S. Kitchen Cabinet, Furniture, Laminators, RV manufacturers and other vital American manufacturers, located in states like Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia, we ask you to protect your business interests and actively join us to defeat this bogus case again,” said Simon, referencing the AAHP’s previous opposition to an identical case in 2012 that resulted in a unanimous vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) to terminate the case. That win was upheld on appeal by a federal judge.
Now the DOC will conduct onsite audits, order Customs and Border Protection to collect duties, hear legal arguments and many other burdensome and resource-strapping government interventions. Such market disruption collectively ties the hands of U.S. wood-based manufacturers behind their backs as they face stiff competition from countries that stay out of the business of picking winners and losers in business. “This decision is a brutal stab in the back of tens of thousands of workers and companies located in states that are struggling to keep good manufacturing jobs here in the United States,” said Simon.
The DOC antidumping preliminary determination also marks the resumption of the ITC’s final phase investigation into the pivotal question of whether Chinese imports have any effect at all on the petitioners. The ITC previously investigated the petitioners’ claims in 2012 and unanimously threw out their case. “The only thing that has changed since 2012 is that our Alliance has even more support today. Every day we are contacted by more cabinet makers, laminators, furniture manufacturers and retailers who agree that Chinese and domestic hardwood plywood is fundamentally and physically different. The petitioners continue to deny this fact to the ITC, while at the same time their salesmen are in the field, actively touting the fundamental product differences. We want the truth to come out at the ITC,” stated Mr. Simon.
The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood is an organization of American importers, distributors and manufacturers of hardwood plywood, along with other U.S. companies, collectively representing more than 100,000 American jobs that depend on the availability of global resources.