WASHINGTON - The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood hosted an event Friday at the National Press Club with guest speakers Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Brad Thompson, CEO of Columbia Forest Products and Tim Brightbill of Wiley Rein LLP, to discuss China’s unfair trade practices.
With the help of illegal government support, Chinese imports of hardwood plywood have flooded the U.S. market in recent years and are decimating the U.S. hardwood plywood industry, the coalition says.
Over the last two years alone, U.S. imports of hardwood plywood have increased by 35 to 45 percent.
Chinese domestic producers of hardwood plywood products receive an array of illegal government subsidies such as discounted land, tax breaks and raw materials, according to the coalition. Since the year 2000, 42 U.S. mills have been forced to close their doors, and many more have had to reduce capacity, resulting in a loss of approximately 52,000 American jobs and $2 billion in wages.
The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood filed a petition with the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission in November 2016 to investigate the dumping of Chinese hardwood plywood. The ITC ruled to launch an official investigation into China’s illegal trade practices in December 2016.
"Chinese imports are at an all-time high, and the U.S. hardwood plywood industry is in jeopardy," Wyden said. "This is a bipartisan issue. It's critical that the Trump administration stand up to China's unfair trade practices and take action to protect thousands of American jobs in Oregon and across the country."
“If nothing changes, China’s dominance of the American hardwood plywood market will only accelerate. China’s illegal trade practices are crippling an otherwise viable American industry,” said Thompson. “Thousands of jobs are on the line, and communities across the U.S. are depending on the International Trade Commission to stand up for the U.S. hardwood plywood industry, simply by assuring that the field is balanced and the trading is fair.”
Preliminary and final determinations in the companion antidumping duty investigation of hardwood plywood from China are expected in June and November, respectively.
To view a just released video by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood showing the impact of China’s cheating visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtPKTVSV5WM&feature=youtu.be
The Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood is a group of six producers and manufacturers that are committed to safeguarding the U.S. hardwood plywood industry and its thousands of workers. The law firm of Wiley Rein LLP is representing the Coalition in these investigations. For more information on the petition, visit: www.hardwoodplywoodfairtrade.org