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Investigation of Chinese plywood trade practices begins

The U.S. International Trade Commission determined there is “a reasonable indication” that U.S. manufacturers of hardwood and decorative plywood are at an unfair disadvantage from Chinese imports.

As a result, the U.S. Department of Commerce will conduct an investigation of pricing practices by manufacturers and exporters of the product in China, as well as subsidies provided to these companies. The investigation can result in the imposition of a duty escrow requirement in early 2013 and the subsequent assessment of actual duties to compensate for the level of unfair trading.

The investigation results from a petition filed in late September by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood, an association of U.S. manufacturers of hardwood and decorative plywood. Its members account for approximately 80 percent of U.S. production.

“The coalition is very pleased with (the) vote by the International Trade Commission. We feel that this is an important step towards reintroducing competitive parity in the U.S. marketplace so that this U.S. manufacturing industry has an opportunity to compete on a fair and level playing field against imports from China,” coalition counsel Jeff Levin said in a statement.

“In the end, this is all about open trade on a level playing field. All the U.S. manufacturers are looking for is the opportunity to compete squarely in the U.S. market on a fair basis and in accordance with mutually accepted rules that govern the global economy.”

The International Trade Commission is expected to issue a public report that details its findings and the bases of its unanimous affirmative determination in approximately two weeks.

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