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US close to limiting imports of hardwood, plywood from China

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The US Commerce Department on Tuesday announced its affirmative final determination in duty probes against hardwood and plywood from China, which increases the possibility of imposing punitive duties on the products.

The Commerce Department claimed that Chinese producers and exporters sold hardwood and decorative plywood in the US market at dumping margins ranging from 55.76% to 121.65%. In addition, all except three companies had received countervailing subsidies from 13.58% to 27.16%.

The petitioner for this investigation is the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood, which is composed of six US-based companies.

“They already control 80% of the market for domestic hardwood plywood and now they’re seeking to further exploit their stronghold by edging out overseas competition,” said Greg Simon, co-chairman of the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood, and Richard Titus, vice president of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association.

They also warned that many thousands of US factories depend on a steady, affordable supply of plywood for the products they will sell at home and abroad.

Punitive duties would be imposed after both the Commerce Department and the US International Trade Commission make affirmative final rulings. The commission is scheduled to make its final determination around Oct. 31.

If the result affirms that the products cause material injury or threat to the US industry, the Commerce Department will issue antidumping duty and countervailing duty orders. If the commission makes a negative determination, there will be no punitive duties against the products.

Imports of hardwood and plywood from China were valued at an estimated US$747.9 million last year, according to the Commerce Department.

China’s Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged the United States to abide by its commitment against protectionism and work together with China and other members of the international community to maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.

This article was found at: http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20130918000116&cid=1102

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