Move over softwood lumber, here comes hardwood plywood...from
US producers of this forestry product have petitioned the US
Department of Commerce (DoC) to commence an anti-dumping and
anti-subsidy investigation against imports of hardwood plywood from
China. DoC announced the investigation on Thursday October 18,
2012. The Petitioners are requesting antidumping and countervailing
duties of up to 310% on the Chinese imports.
Chinese imports into the US are reported to be over half a
billion dollars (specifically $616 million) in 2011 and almost $1.8
billion in 2009-2011.
The type of imported goods being investigated are panels made of
thin slices of wood ("veneers") bonded to a core. The
veneers can be made of hardwood, softwood or bamboo, and the core
can be composed of a wide variety usually lower grade materials,
such as particle board or MDF. These products are usually
manufactured as large panels, with 4'x6', 4'x8' or
4'x10' sizes being the most common, but all sizes are
included in this investigation. The subject goods, hardwood and
decorative plywood, are distinguished from structural plywood (also
known as "industrial plywood" or "industrial
panels"), which must meet particular performance
The complaint which started this process was filed on September
27, 2012. The preliminary determination regarding whether the
imports appear to have caused injury to the US industry is expected
early to mid-November. The preliminary determination as to whether
the China goods are subsidized (and thus subject to countervailing
duties) is expected in late December, and the preliminary
determination as to whether the good are being dumped, i.e. being
sold at less than fair market value, should be rendered in early
March 2013. Antidumping and countervailing duties start being
imposed after an affirmative finding at the respective preliminary
determinations. The final decisions are expected in late April 2013
for countervailing duties and mid July for antidumping duties.
It is expected that this will be an important case for the US
forestry sector which is very concerned with competition from
imports. No doubt Canadian producers will be watching the
proceedings very carefully, whether it be for its impact on the US
market or as a possible way to deal with any import-competition
issues in the Canadian market.
The foregoing provides only an overview. Readers are
cautioned against making any decisions based on this material
alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted.
While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
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