Introduction

The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) 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. The AAHP is vehemently opposed to the petition filed on November 18, 2016 with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), asking that tariffs be imposed on hardwood plywood imported from China. This is the second time the case has been filed.  The same small group, who unsuccessfully filed a petition in September 2012, is at it again. The AAHP, and its ITC counsel, Mowry and Grimson, led the successful effort to defeat the prior case, achieving a unanimous 5-0 negative injury determination from the U.S. International Trade Commission in 2013.

The AAHP recognizes the vital importance of unique resources, such a Chinese plywood, that U.S. domestic manufacturers require to support American manufacturing and jobs. A period of extreme volatility and disruption occurred in the supply chain for hardwood plywood when the last case was filed in 2012. The same petitioners, despite having lost the 2012 case and subsequent Court of International Trade (CIT) appeal, are seeking to disrupt the supply chain, for thousands of manufacturers, including many of their own customers, once again. Nobody wins in these cases — not the petitioners, the importers, the distributors, or certainly consumers. Anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases truly are a “lose-lose” endeavor. High duties will raise costs for U.S. manufacturers relying on both domestic and imported hardwood plywood.

 

If the petition’s 114% tariff is approved, up to half the world’s supply of hardwood plywood would be unavailable to U.S. manufacturers, creating an economic advantage for overseas competitors.

Plywood CEOs Mislead American Cabinet, Furniture, RV Manufacturers with Slick Video While They Kill Their Jobs

Washington – The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) reacted today to the fake news video released by six giant plywood corporations and their politicians at the National Press Club.   The slick video cannot hide the fact that the petitioners’ actions hurt the more than 100,000 American cabinet makers, furniture makers, home builders and RV producers that rely on both imported plywood and domestic plywood because they are physically different and always have been.  The U.S. International Trade Commission previously investigated and unanimously rejected the petitioners’ identical claims, a ruling that was upheld by a federal judge.   Now, when neither the facts nor the law support their misguided effort to restrict supply and limit choice, the petitioners roll out a dramatic and misleading video.

 

“The petitioners have sunk to a new low.  This kind of media event and slick Hollywood video confirm that they know their case is weak,” said AAHP Chairman Greg Simon.  “Nothing can hide the fact that the petitioners’ case is disrupting the market and harming manufacturing jobs in downstream industries.”

 

AAHP dissected the fake news put forth by the petitioners at today’s event to separate myths from facts:

 

MYTH: The petitioners allege that thousands of plywood jobs are being harmed by “Chinese cheating.”  Mr. Thompson, Columbia Forest Products’ CEO, said in the press conference that “our industry has contracted.”   The petitioners’ lawyer spoke of “fewer workers” and “fewer hours worked.”

FACTS: This is patently false.   The U.S. International Trade Commission found that domestic plywood production worker jobs increased from 2300 in 2013 to 2391 in 2015.   This is not slick talk from a public relations firm, a politician, or a high-priced Washington law firm.   It is in Table C-1 from the U.S. International Trade Commission’s investigation in this case which can be found here:  https://www.usitc.gov/publications/701_731/pub4661.pdf .   That same government report confirms that wages paid to plywood workers increased from $18.20/hour to $19.43/hour and hours worked increased by 6.7 percent during the same period.

 

MYTH: The petitioners’ slick video suggests that the domestic plywood industry is heading downhill.

FACTS: This is also not true.  Back in the 2012 case, the number of workers was under 2000 and production was roughly 25% lower than it is today.   The ITC’s official findings from the last case are summarized at Table C-1 here:   https://www.usitc.gov/publications/701_731/pub4434.pdf.  The plywood industry is better off than it was the last time they brought, and lost, this case.

 

MYTH:  If the petitioners’ case succeeds, they will enjoy increased sales and profits.

FACTS:  The domestic industry does not make the type of plywood from China and other import sources.  Their raw materials and production process is not suited to it.  Imports from other countries are already larger than China and will replace Chinese plywood over time.  The petitioners will reap no benefit.  They will only harm other American manufacturers.

 

MYTH: The petitioners have a legitimate case.

FACTS: The AAHP defeated a similar unfair trade case brought by the same close-knit group of anti-competitive producers in 2012/13.   There, the DOC announced combined antidumping and countervailing duties of nearly 150 percent.  Yet, the ITC threw the case out after a full investigation– by a unanimous ruling.  That unanimous ruling was later affirmed by a federal judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade.  Now the petitioners are back and the case seeks to tie one arm behind the back of the U.S. cabinet makers, furniture makers, and other manufacturing industries by denying them a level playing field in raw material sourcing with their offshore competitors.

 

“We will keep fighting the petitioners’ misguided claims, which have even less merit than they did in 2012.   No video with scary music can change the facts.  The U.S. International Trade Commission is staffed by professional career economists and investigators who will not be tricked by slick videos or statements by politicians,” said Simon.

 

The AAHP is an alliance of small medium and large American importers, distributors, manufacturers, retailers of hardwood plywood and the U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, collectively representing more than 100,000 American jobs.  “We look forward to preserving American manufacturing jobs by defeating this bogus case again,” said 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 that depend on the availability of global resources.

 

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Plywood Duties

http://www.furnituretoday.com/article/542934-plywood-duties-may-have-limited-impact-domestic-producers

Plywood duties may have limited impact on domestic producers

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government’s potential imposition of duties of more than 100% could put a dent in hardwood plywood imports from China, which could curtail use of this material in domestic made cabinetry, shelving and, to a lesser degree, U.S.-made furniture.

In late April, the International Trade Administration announced preliminary duties as high as 111.09% for 61 Chinese manufacturers of hardwood plywood products including hardwood and decorative plywood and certain veneered panels. Another manufacturer, Linyi Sanfortune Wood, received a preliminary duty of 9.89%.

Most of the higher duties resulted from failed attempts by the U.S. Department of Commerce to receive information from many of the Chinese factories.

The order excludes wooden furniture pieces that are fully assembled. It also excludes RTA furniture that is typically flat packed and includes components that are purchased by and assembled by the end user or consumer. Also excluded are kitchen cabinets that are fully assembled or assembled by the end user.

Panels that are imported for assembly by domestic manufacturers of cabinetry or furniture would be subject to the duties.

The preliminary duties went into effect April 25, the publication date of the notice in the Federal Register, and are designed to address allegations of unfair trade practices by Chinese producers. A group of 12 domestic producers called the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood filed its petition with the government in November.

“Over the past two years, U.S. imports of hardwood plywood have increased by 35% to 40%, decimating the U.S. hardwood plywood industry and hurting American workers,” the coalition said. “Hardwood plywood products coming from China are being sold at ‘dumped prices’ well below cost, and that is hurting American jobs. … We will not stand idly by as China threatens several thousand jobs in the U.S. hardwood plywood industry, not to mention the thousands of indirect jobs across the country.”

The impact on the furniture industry could be small as it represents roughly 5% of the coalition’s market for hardwood plywood, compared to 20% when the domestic industry was still strong.

But any duties on Chinese-made boards could change some of the purchasing habits for those producers that now buy from China.

Shortly before the preliminary duties were announced, the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood, a group of small medium and large importers, distributors, manufacturers and retailers of hardwood plywood, criticized the move.

“The federal government has tied one arm behind the backs of the U.S. cabinet makers and other manufacturing industries by denying them a level playing field in raw material sourcing with their offshore competitors,” said AAHP Chairman Greg Simon. “This case is presented as cracking down on Chinese trade ‘cheating’ and protecting American jobs, but it will benefit nobody in the U.S.

“The cabinet industry, flooring, recreational vehicle and furniture industries use the Chinese plywood for different purposes than the U.S. plywood. The petitioners’ dreams that they will enjoy sales increases are a fantasy, even with these high duties. … In these trade cases, nobody wins.”

Those who wish to request a hearing related to case, must submit a request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance at the DOC within 30 days after the April 25 publication date of the Federal Register notice. These comments, along with further information that is part of the ongoing investigation, will determine whether or not the DOC assigns final duties on the imports.

AAHP’s Simon said the group will “keep fighting the petitioners’ misguided claims, which have even less merit than they did in 2012,” in reference to a prior petition effort.

“While the DOC announcement of duties will gain headlines for the petitioners, ultimately, they will mean nothing when the ITC throws this case out.”

AAHP: Despite Inflated Initial Duties, Plywood Trade Complaint Is Doomed

For Immediate Release from the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood
April 19, 2017
Media Contact: Mike Burita
mike@buritamedia.com or 202.420.9361

AAHP:  Despite Inflated Initial Duties, Plywood Trade Complaint Is Doomed

Washington – The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) expressed disappointment in yesterday’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) imposing preliminary countervailing duties of 9.89% on Chinese exporters of hardwood plywood.   Commerce separately applied a penalty margin of 111.09% to one Chinese company that did not fully cooperate with the investigation as well as companies that did not return the quantity and value questionnaire, likely because they do not export plywood.   The high duty figure is sure to be touted by the small group of domestic plywood producers to sow uncertainty and reduce the supply of a key raw material with no domestic equivalent that is needed by over 100,000 American workers making kitchen cabinets in the United States.  Those American workers, who outnumber domestic plywood employees by a ratio of more than 30 to 1, now face competition from imported cabinets that can utilize the unique Chinese plywood free from duties.

AAHP Chairman Greg Simon issued the following statement:

“The federal government has tied one arm behind the backs of the U.S. cabinet makers and other manufacturing industries by denying them a level playing field in raw material sourcing with their offshore competitors.   This case is presented as cracking down on Chinese trade ‘cheating’ and protecting American jobs but it will benefit nobody in the United States.  The cabinet industry, flooring, recreational vehicle and furniture industries use the Chinese plywood for different purposes than the U.S. plywood.  The petitioners’ dreams that they will enjoy sales increases are a fantasy, even with these high duties.  The government should not be in the business of trying to pick winners and losers.  In fact, in these trade cases, nobody wins.”

The AAHP defeated a similar unfair trade case brought by the same close-knit group of anti-competitive producers in 2012/13.   There, the DOC also announced combined antidumping and countervailing duties of nearly 150 percent.  Yet, the ITC threw the case out after a full investigation– by a unanimous ruling.  That unanimous ruling was later affirmed by a federal judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade.

“We will keep fighting the petitioners’ misguided claims, which have even less merit than they did in 2012.   While the DOC announcement of duties will gain headlines for the petitioners, ultimately they will mean nothing when the ITC throws this case out”, said Simon.

The AAHP is an alliance of small medium and large American importers, distributors, manufacturers, retailers of hardwood plywood and the U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, collectively representing more than 100,000 American jobs.  “We look forward to preserving American manufacturing jobs by defeating this bogus case again,” said 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 that depend on the availability of global resources.

AAHP: Dubious Campaign Against Imported Chinese Hardwood Plywood Returns

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Despite back to back losses dealt by the International Trade Commission and a federal appeals court, The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP) has filed another petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) asserting that imports of hardwood plywood products from China are being sold into the United States at “dumped prices” below cost to gain an unfair competitive advantage.  A preliminary ITC hearing took place today.  American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood Chairman Greg Simon issued the following statement:

“These same six petitioners brought this case in 2012 and lost unanimously at the International Trade Commission (ITC). Then they appealed to federal court and lost again.  Now their solution is to use the same playbook and bring another case in the hopes of disrupting proven fair trade that is fostering the production of U.S.-made goods employing tens of thousands of U.S. workers.

“The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood remained strong and unified throughout this process and have re-engaged Mowry & Grimson as our counsel.  Our Alliance includes American companies who buy and sell Chinese and domestic plywood, U.S. kitchen cabinet makers who use plywood from both sources for different purposes and is open to other concerned businesses.  Our members are disappointed to see the return of this case, especially given the thousands of U.S. jobs that it puts at risk.  But we look forward to explaining to the ITC how Chinese hardwood plywood does not injure or threaten the domestic industry, consistent with the ITC’s 2013 unanimous ruling in our favor.”

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.