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Three Largest U.S. Cabinetmakers Quit KCMA in China Trade Dispute

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October 6, 2022 | Bill Esler

Sioux Falls, SD—The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association announced during an October 4 board meeting that American Woodmark, MasterBrand Cabinets, and Cabinetworks Group have resigned from the association.

“These companies have been valued members of the association for many years,” KCMA says, noting the action centered around a disagreement with the board over trade policy. In April 2020, in response to petitions KCMA filed to combat unfairly traded imports from China, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on wooden cabinets, vanities and components from China.

“The relief provided by these orders to the domestic industry was being eroded by wooden cabinets and vanities that were made in China and then transshipped through Malaysia and Vietnam to the United States,” says KCMA. So in April 2022, the KCMA requested that the Commerce Department conduct scope inquiries and anti-circumvention proceedings to address this problem and protect tens of thousands of American cabinet jobs.

Reacting to this latest petition for an inquiry by the Commerce Department, American Woodmark, Cabinetworks, and MasterBrand proposed that KCMA withdraw from its effort for a circumvention inquiry. After KCMA’s board rejected the proposal, the three firms withdrew from KCMA membership, issuing a joint statement:

Cabinetworks Group, MasterBrand Cabinets and American Woodmark fully support the U.S. Department of Commerce’s imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on certain Chinese cabinet and vanity imports in our industry. In response to these orders, we have all aligned our supply chains and implemented rigorous processes to ensure we are compliant with the new rules.

The existing Commerce orders address China’s unfair trade practices in a clear and consistent way, avoiding rigidity and the unintentional penalization of good faith importers and suppliers. We are not aligned with KCMA’s effort and direction to expand the Commerce order and have consistently expressed our strong concerns about this overbroad inquiry and its timing. Over the past several months, it has become apparent that KCMA does not share this view, and so we have decided to withdraw from the Association.

Collectively, our companies proudly employ 27,000 associates throughout America and Canada. We all want to ensure that our industry’s advocacy protects our customers, our employees, and our partners from the negative impacts of illegal imports – while at the same time does not penalize the legal imports that our industry needs to support American jobs and on-time deliveries to our American customers.

“As part of the departure, MasterBrand Cabinets immediately canceled its participation at the KCMA Fall Conference, including the plant tour of its Starmark Cabinetry facility and its conference panel session,” KCMA says. The group was gathered in Sioux Falls, SD for the conference when the dispute arose.

“KCMA will always stand up to countries that engage in unfair trade practices, and we are proud to support domestic cabinet manufacturing,” the association said in a press release. With over $6 billion in revenue (in the latest FDMC 300), whether the three cabinet firms will continue to provide data to KCMA’s monthly Trend of Business Survey was not addressed. The respected report tabulates cabinet industry sales volume covering 75 percent of U.S. cabinet manufacturing.

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) is a voluntary, non-profit trade association founded in 1955 that represents North American cabinet manufacturers and suppliers to the industry, including kitchen, bath, and other residential cabinets. With a membership now over 300 strong throughout the United States, KCMA works to advance the industry through advocacy, setting standards, sponsoring research, and providing management tools and educational programs. KCMA sets nationally recognized performance standards for cabinets with the KCMA Certification.

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