The International Wood Products Association said a U.S. investigation into alleged below-cost sales of Chinese hardwood and decorative plywoods into the U.S. market could have “devastating unintended consequences.”
The U.S. International Trade Commission launched anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations last week in response to requests by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood, representing six U.S. timber products companies.
The IWPA called the domestic producers’ effort a “shortsighted tactical maneuver to create shortages through the exploitation of anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws.”
Dumping occurs when an overseas company sells a product in the U.S. below its fair value. Countervailing duties are imposed as remedies for illegal government subsidies of a nation’s exports.
In 2011, hardwood and decorative plywood imports from China were valued at $616.5 million. The plywood is used for indoor applications such as wall panels, kitchen cabinets, furniture and engineered wood flooring.
The International Trade Commission is scheduled to make its preliminary determination by Nov. 13 of whether U.S. producers have been injured by the imports.
If the ITC decides an investigation should go forward, the Commerce Department will be scheduled to make its preliminary countervailing and anti-dumping duty determinations in December 2012 and March 2013, respectively.