Seattle—Jonathan Train, president of the Alliance for Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring (AFCJF), provided the following bullet points in response to the announcement of preliminary Countervailing Duty (CVD) rates by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Multilayered (Engineered) Hardwood Flooring from China case now pending at DOC and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
The AFCJF represents American flooring importers, distributors, retailers and hardwood timber exporters.
Train called the DOC ruling “good news.”
- Only 3 Chinese companies (the Mandatory respondents, or “Mandatories”) were chosen by the DOC for in-depth investigation for subsidies.
- Two of the three Mandatories received a zero rate, meaning “no subsidy found,” and one of the three Mandatories received a 2.25% rate.
- 67 other companies responded to DOC requests for information and these companies received 2.25% rates.
- These 70 companies are estimated to represent at least 95% of the U.S. imports for 2011.
- The 127 companies on the DOC “AFA” list (Adverse Facts Available) represent a negligible quantity of multilayered flooring exports to the U.S. These companies are on the AFA list because they did not reply to the DOC questionnaire.
- Most of these companies listed by DOC on the “AFA” list are inaccurately categorized.
- U.S. companies purchasing from two of the three Mandatories, Zhejiang Layo Wood Industry Co., Ltd. (“Layo”) and Zhejiang Yihua Timber Co., Ltd. (“Yihua”), will bring their product in with no additional duty, because the DOC determined there was zero subsidy. U.S. companies that import from the other 68 companies (i.e. the third Mandatory, Fine Furniture Company, and the other 67 manufacturers) will face a CVD duty of 2.25%.
- These rates are in effect until the DOC Final Determination in September and will be eliminated completely if the petition is dismissed by the International Trade Commission (ITC) in November 2011.
“We applaud the DOC for their diligent and careful review that allowed a preliminary finding of zero for two of the three mandatory respondents,” said Train. “These findings certainly undermine the overblown allegations of the Petitioners that they are injured by overseas subsidies.
“We do find it ironic that if either of the other two Mandatories had been assigned a rate greater than zero, but less than 2.25%, then the assessed duty on the rest of the industry would actually have been lower. DOC rules forced the DOC to exclude the two mandatories with zero rates from their averaging for the rest of the industry. If those two zero-rate Mandatories had been included in the averaging, the rest of the industry would have received a far lower rate.”