Press Release

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

 

AAHP Vows to Defeat Case Despite Commerce Preliminary Antidumping Announcement

Washington – The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) reacted today to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) of its preliminary antidumping duties on hardwood plywood from China.

“The high duties announced today have no connection to reality and will be devastating to the more than 100,000 American jobs that rely on hardwood plywood from both the U.S. and China,” stated AAHP Chairman Greg Simon.   The only company for which DOC calculated an antidumping margin was found to have an antidumping rate of zero, meaning the company was not dumping, wholly refuting the petitioners’ claims.  DOC averaged that zero together with another company that failed to respond to derive the fictitious 57.36 percent applied to over a hundred fully cooperating exporters and plywood mills.

“To all U.S. Kitchen Cabinet, Furniture, Laminators, RV manufacturers and other vital American manufacturers, located in states like Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia, we ask you to protect your business interests and actively join us to defeat this bogus case again,” said Simon, referencing the AAHP’s previous opposition to an identical case in 2012 that resulted in a unanimous vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) to terminate the case. That win was upheld on appeal by a federal judge.

Now the DOC will conduct onsite audits, order Customs and Border Protection to collect duties, hear legal arguments and many other burdensome and resource-strapping government interventions.  Such market disruption collectively ties the hands of U.S. wood-based manufacturers behind their backs as they face stiff competition from countries that stay out of the business of picking winners and losers in business.   “This decision is a brutal stab in the back of tens of thousands of workers and companies located in states that are struggling to keep good manufacturing jobs here in the United States,” said Simon.

The DOC antidumping preliminary determination also marks the resumption of the ITC’s final phase investigation into the pivotal question of whether Chinese imports have any effect at all on the petitioners.   The ITC previously investigated the petitioners’ claims in 2012 and unanimously threw out their case.  “The only thing that has changed since 2012 is that our Alliance has even more support today.  Every day we are contacted by more cabinet makers, laminators, furniture manufacturers and retailers who agree that Chinese and domestic hardwood plywood is fundamentally and physically different.  The petitioners continue to deny this fact to the ITC, while at the same time their salesmen are in the field, actively touting the fundamental product differences.  We want the truth to come out at the ITC,” stated 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, collectively representing more than 100,000 American jobs that depend on the availability of global resources.

 

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For Immediate Release from American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood

May 19, 2017

Media Contact: Mike Burita – 202.420.9361 or mike@buritamedia.com

 

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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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.”

 

 

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.

 

 

For Immediate Release from the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood
March 24, 2017
Media Contact: Mike Burita
mike@buritamedia.com or 202.420.9361

AAHP responds to Critically Flawed Allegations Filed with Department of Commerce

Washington, DC – The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) is aware that the petitioners have filed yet more unfounded allegations claiming that importers of Chinese Hardwood Plywood are circumventing U.S. law.  Our attorneys are reviewing the claims and will respond accordingly. However, on its face, the petitioners’ claims are critically flawed.  The AAHP is confident that upon examination,  the U.S. Department of Commerce will reject the petitioners’ request for the application of retroactive duties which is an extraordinary,  extremely unfair and prejudicial act.    Ultimately,  the International Trade Commission (ITC) will have the final word on whether such duties are warranted.  The members of the AAHP expect that the petitioners’ case will crumble in the ITC’s Final Phase investigation, just as it did in 2013.  In that case, the ITC unanimously rejected similarly flawed and hysterical claims made by the same petitioning group that once again seeks to profit by manipulating markets and sewing panic among its customers.

The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood  https://aahp-org.com 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 Disappointed Government Pursuing Third Investigation of

Imported Chinese Hardwood Plywood

 

Despite Back to Back Losses, Legal Harassment Campaign Against Imports Continue, Putting Thousands of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs at Risk  

 

Washington – The American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP) expressed disappointment in today’s ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC) that it will proceed with an investigation into alleged “dumping” practices of Chinese hardwood plywood to gain an unfair competitive advantage. The ITC and Department of Commerce rejected a similar petition in 2012 and a federal court also rejected the dubious allegations initiated by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP). AAHP Chairman Greg Simon issued the following statement:

 

“We are disappointed that this investigation will proceed, but remain very confident that the facts continue to be on our side. This is now the third time that the federal government will conduct a thorough review and we believe they will reach the same finding as before–imported hardwood plywood products from China are traded fairly at competitive prices and have a rightful place in the global consumer market. This continued legal harassment by CFTHP against imports is putting thousands of U.S. jobs at risk during a time when manufacturing is in desperate need of revival.  Our alliance of small medium and large American importers, distributors, retailers of hardwood plywood and domestic kitchen cabinet manufacturers remains united in opposition to these bogus charges and look forward to presenting our side to the ITC and Department of Commerce in the coming months.”

 

 

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.

http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/american-alliance-hardwood-plywood

Fake News from HPVA: Separating Myth from Reality

On December 9th, the ITC held its first initial hearing on a petition for Chinese Lumber antidumping/countervailing duties.  AAHP presented a very strong case affirming that imported hardwood plywood products from China are traded fairly at competitive prices and have a rightful place in the global consumer market.

The ITC informed AAHP that it will review presentations from both sides and announce whether an investigation will proceed by the end of the year.

Then something strange occurred.  On December 15th, less than a week after the first initial ITC hearing, a puzzling news release was issued from Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association (HPVA) headlined:  “Chinese Plywood Dumped At 100%+” that makes patently false claims about the Department of Commerce’s initiation.  (They call it DOC’s “preliminary” determination, but that is not due until April of 2017 at the earliest).

The claims HPVA makes are misleading to patently false and could have serious global market implications. Specifically:

  • HPVA claim – “the U.S. Department of Commerce found preliminary dumping margins of over 100%.”  Fact – this statement is false.  The DOC has FOUND NO preliminary dumping margins.  The DOC’s action on Friday, December 9th was a notice of initiation of the investigation.  This means that the investigation is only beginning.  The DOC must undergo a complete investigation of selected mandatory respondents before any preliminary duties can be put in place.  In addition, the ITC must make a preliminary injury determination.  Furthermore, HPVA’s initiation margins now are just as meaningless as they were in 2012 when the petitioners alleged 310% but DOC actually found ZERO AD margins at the preliminary determination for all individually investigated companies.   The petition margins are great for press releases but they are pure fantasy.
  • HPVA claim – “the US Department of Commerce identified 30 Chinese government subsidy programs that may be countervailable.”  Truth – This statement is true but misleading.  There has been NO preliminary finding of subsidy programs on Chinese plywood.  The DOC has merely initiated an investigation.   No CVD duties are now in place.

AAHP contacted the Department of Commerce who confirmed that the HPVA statement is false, that the investigation was only just initiated and “we can’t finish an investigation in six days.”

Shortly thereafter, the HPVA release vanished from its website at http://www.hpva.org/news/chinese-plywood-dumped-100.

To issue such a reckless statement shows that HPVA is either woefully ignorant about the investigative process or they deliberately put out misleading and false statements in attempt to manipulate market conditions ahead of the ITC decision whether or not to pursue the investigation.

Clearly HPVA and the petitioners are worried about losing a third time in their harassment campaign so are resorting to cheap tactics.

A full fact sheet on the investigation of Chinese hardwood plywood as well as a full case calendar can be FOUND HERE.

 

false-statement

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