PRESS RELEASE: Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood Commends Commerce Decision to Open China Investigation

December 13, 2016

The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP) commends the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to open an investigation into Chinese imports of hardwood and decorative plywood. The coalition officially filed a petition on Nov. 17, 2016, asserting that imports of hardwood plywood products from China are being sold into the U.S. at unfair prices below cost to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

The U.S. imported approximately $1.1 billion worth of Chinese hardwood and decorative plywood last year, which accounts for approximately 50 percent of the market. The coalition is requesting a 105.94 anti-dumping duty to cover the gap between the fair value of the hardwood plywood imports and the dumped prices at which Chinese shippers are selling them.

In violation of international trade rules, the coalition has identified more than 30 Chinese government programs that are providing illegal subsidies to producers of hardwood plywood, such as tax breaks and discounted land and raw materials. This has enabled Chinese producers to dump products into the U.S. market, causing material injury to the U.S. hardwood plywood industry.

“The domestic industry is encouraged that Commerce is moving ahead with these important investigations,” said Timothy Brightbill of Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, who represents the coalition. “We’re looking forward to the full investigations because we think they’ll show a variety of unfair trade practices that have harmed the U.S. industry for more than 15 years.” The President of the Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association, Kip Howlett remarked that, “Chinese imports have increased 35-40 percent over the past two years. The Commerce department’s decision is a step in the right direction as we work to help protect thousands of American workers who are employed in the hardwood plywood industry.”

A preliminary determination on the case from U.S. International Trade Commission is expected on or before Jan. 3. U.S. manufacturing—and thousands of jobs—will suffer so long as China can sell their products at dumped prices. The new administration has an opportunity to protect U.S. jobs and industry by combating China’s illegal trade practices.

BACKGROUND: The U.S. hardwood plywood industry has strong evidence of dumping, subsidies, and material injury caused by Chinese imports. New data demonstrates that Chinese hardwood plywood imports have increased significantly from 2013 to 2015, and these dumped and subsidized Chinese imports have taken market share from the U.S. industry resulting in the loss of thousands of American jobs. China is not playing by the rules, and documentary evidence lays out the case why the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission should apply the trade remedy laws to dumped and subsidized Chinese products.

ABOUT US: The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood is committed to standing up for American workers and supporting U.S. manufacturers. The administration must take steps to preserve the U.S. production of hardwood plywood by combating the rising tide of unfairly traded imports into the U.S. from China. For more information on the petition, visit: