POLITICO: ITC to hear final arguments in China plywood case today

October 27, 2017

ITC TO HEAR FINAL ARGUMENTS IN CHINA PLYWOOD CASE TODAY: The U.S. International Trade Commission will hold a final hearing on a trade case that could end up hitting imports of Chinese hardwood plywood with combined anti-dumping and countervailing duties of more than 225 percent. A number of lawmakers are expected to provide testimony, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Reps. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine).

The case has drawn attention from backers in Congress: A letter from 15 senators and another letter from 33 House members sent to the ITC this week urge the panel to support the import duties. Both lament the fact that domestic producers are operating at less than 50 percent of their production capacity, which they argue is a result of unfairly traded Chinese imports.

U.S. plywood producers filed a similar case in 2012, but the ITC ultimately determined that the imports from China were not injuring the industry.
“As the Commission evaluates the evidence in this final phase, we note in particular several developments that distinguish this case from a similar one brought before the ITC in 2012,” Wyden and other senators wrote. “For example, since that earlier case was filed, imports have increased another 40 percent. The hardwood plywood industry has suffered additional job losses despite increasing demand for wood products, more clearly demonstrating that material injury has occurred.”