Chinese wood anti-dumping case sent back to Commerce Department

Home Inside FCNews Chinese wood anti-dumping case sent back to Commerce Department

August 19/26 2013; volume 27/number 9

New York—In the latest development regarding the industry’s ongoing anti-dumping issue, according to a story at Law360, the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) has ordered the U.S. Dept. of Commerce to reconsider its calculation of anti-dumping duties on Chinese wood flooring.

The department imposed duties on dozens of Chinese exporters of multilayered wood flooring in November 2011, hitting Zhejiang Layo Wood Industry Co. with a 3.98% rate. Zhejiang Layo and others challenged the duties to the CIT, which ruled July 31 that the government’s determinations were unreasonable in light of its current explanations.

For instance, according to the Law360 story, the Commerce Dept. used a questionable dataset as the basis for calculating values for Zhejiang Layo’s so-called, core veneers.
“It follows that the Commerce’s decision to place core veneer at a price higher than face veneer,” the court said, “when both the record and common sense dictate that core veneers are less valuable than face veneers is unreasonable.”

The court said Commerce also used a questionable sequence of calculations to determine the values for high-density fiberboard. The government began its investigation into Chinese imports of flooring in November 2010, after a petition was filed by an industry group called the Coalition for American Hard-wood.
The organization charged that flooring was being dumped and improperly subsidized by the Chinese government.

Jonathan Train, president of the Alliance for Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring, which opposed the investigation from day one, was encouraged by the news. “As we have stated from the beginning of this case, the numbers do not support evidence of dumping. We’ve always believed the calculations and values used by the petitioners and the DOC are not reflective of the marketplace. We’re still fighting to prove this and the July 31 ruling is another positive step for us in the appeals process.

“Because of how the system works,” he explained, “we expect overall rates to remain stable, and we will continue to fight for them to go away altogether. The fact the Court of International Trade has remanded the entire case back to the ITC—as well as questioned the methods used by the DOC—is very encouraging for the industry. Getting rid of the anti-dumping rates will allow for more choice and consistency in supply for everyone.”

According to Michael Martin, president and CEO of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), the organization’s stance on this issue remains the same: “We support a level playing field for all in the industry.”

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