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Industry & Trends

Engineered Wood Groups Protest Lifting China Sanctions

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July 14, 2022 | Bill Esler

Sterling, VA—The Decorative Hardwoods Association filed comments with the U.S.Department of Commerce arguing against lifting U.S. sanctions on imports of plywood and hardwood flooring from China.

In May, the U.S. Trade Representative notified the Decorative Hardwoods Association (IWF Booth C2215) that the Biden administration was considering ending some Section 301 tariffs, including the 25 percent tariffs on imports of hardwood plywood and multilayered wood flooring from China.

Broader review of the tariffs on China is required by Congress under U.S. trade rules after four years, but the Biden administration is also considering removing some tariffs in its efforts to reduce inflation. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce first determined formally that China was dumping flooring in U.S. markets. In the plywood segment, the International Trade Commission determined in 2017 that hardwood plywood was being dumped (i.e., sold below cost of manufacture) in U.S. markets.

Two lobbying groups formed by manufacturers of flooring and engineered panel—The American Manufacturers of Multilayered Wood Flooring and the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood—have both filed comments arguing that Chinese producers of these products benefit from unfair trade practices and have used those artificial advantages to inflict serious harm on U.S. competitors.

Founded in 1921, the Decorative Hardwoods Association, formerly the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association (HPVA), represents the North American hardwood plywood, hardwood veneer, and engineered wood flooring industries. Members produce 90 percent of the hardwood plywood stock panels and hardwood veneer manufactured in North America. As an ANSI standards developer, the Decorative Hardwoods Association also writes consensus-based, voluntary national standards for the industry that aid in the manufacture of safe, environmentally-friendly, and high-quality products. Established in 1954, Capital Testing and Certification Services (formerly HPVA Laboratories) is an accredited third party testing, certification, and inspection agency servicing the building, transportation, and aviation products industries.

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