Within the United States, there are many codes and laws that relate to the plywood industry. These laws have been put in place to protect our wood market, to create sustainable practices, and to limit our impact on the environment. As the global wood market has become more connected, with wood products being imported from around the globe, the U.S. Commerce Department has become more aggressive, levying fines and tariffs against countries like China, and more recently, Canada.
But do these antidumping laws work and how do they affect other countries’ share of the plywood market?
Established under the Tariff Act of 1930, antidumping duties are applied to imports that would otherwise be sold at less than fair market value. This means that, while a product may be manufactured at a lower cost in a different country, when it’s imported the price will rise to the same rate of other products in that category. This law was designed to keep American companies competitive at home.
When it comes to the plywood industry, many products are imported into America from overseas, but companies in our country and around the world are deeply divided about antidumping duties.
Organizations like the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) are firmly opposed to antidumping duties and believe that they have no basis in the reality of the market.
Other companies are concerned that these duties are arbitrary and artificially inflate prices for plywood importers, manufacturers, and distributors.
Other countries that regularly transport wood products into the US, like China, Canada, and Vietnam among others, are also opposed to these extra fees. It makes it difficult for them to keep their share of the market and turn a profit. Many countries would like to see the establishment of a negotiated trade agreement, which could provide protection from tariffs and seemingly arbitrary changes to the law.
Antidumping duties were originally established in the United States to help protect businesses within our country from foreign exporters. As the years went by, American firms began to realize that they could use these laws to keep out competition. In our modern age, we’re much more connected to people and business around the world, and to many, antidumping tariffs seem outdated and counterproductive.
It limits other countries’ ability to use their natural resources for the benefit of their citizens and makes it difficult for U.S. plywood manufacturers and distributors to obtain the material they need to keep their businesses running smoothly.