Washington, DC – The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) reacted with shock today when the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) announced its final antidumping and countervailing duty rates after a considerable delay. The rates were scheduled to be announced on November 7 but were instead kept secret during President Trump’s visit with Chinese President Xi, thus confirming the political nature of the decision. Today’s announcement that the DOC has, with a stroke of a pen, changed preliminary duties of zero percent for the principal investigated Chinese company to an exorbitant 183.36 percent final duty provides an answer why the new duties were kept under wraps. The high 183.36 percent antidumping duties, together with additional countervailing duties of 22.98 percent for most companies, will apply to the unique hardwood plywood made by China that cannot be produced in the United States.
“These rates are based purely on politics, not on any type of marketplace reality. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of American workers will pay the price in lost jobs. Industries including the kitchen cabinet, recreational vehicle, window and door, furniture, homebuilding and flooring industries all utilize the Chinese hardwood plywood because it is distinctly different from American hardwood plywood,” said AAHP Chairman Greg Simon. Mr. Simon noted that witnesses from these end-use industries showed up to testify before the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) in opposition to this case, alongside the AAHP, with letters of support from trade associations representing over a million American workers. The AAHP was supported in its defense against the antidumping/countervailing duty case by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association and the International Wood Products Association. “The domestic plywood companies had nobody show up for them except a parade of politicians. Not one actual user of the plywood testified on their side. That’s because the story they are telling the ITC is bogus.”
“We remain confident that the ITC will keep its eye on the facts and law before it” said Simon, noting that the ITC has the last word on whether duties will remain in place and will vote on December 1. This case is a repeat of a complaint filed in 2012 by the same group of petitioners. Then, like now, the DOC announced high final dumping and countervailing duty margins, yet the ITC still voted to terminate the case. “We are hopeful the ITC remains immune from political influence, follows the rule of law and once again terminates this flawed petition. The DOC’s high duty rates have raised the stakes for American manufacturers who cannot get this raw material at home,” said 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 that depend on the availability of global resources