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The U.S. Department of Commerce on Tuesday set preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) of up to 27.01 percent on engineered wood flooring from China to offset alleged government subsidies.
Three companies named in the investigation have been assigned duty rates of zero, while another three have been assigned a duty rate of 2.25 percent. Companies that participated in the investigation but were not named in the case also received a preliminary duty rate of 2.25 percent. A total of 127 Chinese companies that declined to participate in the investigation received a duty rate of 27.01 percent.
“Although we hoped for a finding of zero subsidies across the board, consistent with the realities of the Chinese market, we are pleased that at least the Commerce Department determined a subsidy level of only 2.25 percent for the companies that responded to the Commerce Department’s questionnaire,” said Jonathan Train, president of the Alliance for Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring (AFCJF), referring to questionnaires DOC uses to conduct its investigation. The AFCFJ opposes duties being enacted on Chinese engineered wood flooring imports; Train is also vice president of the Swiff-Train Co. (Houston). “These finding certainly undermine the overblown allegations of the petitioners that they are injured by overseas subsidies.”
The investigation was initiated by a petition from the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity, an ad hoc association of U.S. engineered wood flooring manufacturers. Jeffery Levin, counsel for the CAHP, said his group will respond to the DOC’s findings within the coming days. The CAHP includes Anderson Hardwood Floors (Clinton, S.C), Award Hardwood Floors LLP (Wausau, Wis.), Baker’s Creek (Jackson, Miss.), From the Forest LLC (Weston, Wis.), Howell Hardwood Flooring (Dothan, Ala.), Mannington Wood Floors (Salem, N.J.), Nydree Flooring (Forest, Va.) and Shaw Industries Inc. (Dalton, Ga.).
The DOC is also working on a preliminary antidumping determination, which should be issued in mid-May. CAHP is asking for antidumping duties of up to 281 percent.
One of the biggest environmental benefits wood floors offer is that they are made from a renewable resource – trees. In fact, in the United States, the standing volume of hardwood trees is actually increasing from year to year. The USDA Forest Service reports that for every tree harvested, 1.9 are planted in its place, which means that the raw materials needed to make wood floors will be available for many generations to come.
The wood flooring industry also works to get the most use out of each log it harvests. Engineered wood floors are made with real wood using a cross-ply construction process that allows for more wood to be used from each log. The lower, or core layers, of each flooring board can use wood that might otherwise not have been useful in a solid wood flooring board, which is one solid piece of wood from top to bottom. By contrast, engineered wood, while being all wood, is not solid. It contains several layers of wood stacked on top of one another in a cross-ply fashion to increase wood yield and reduce wood waste. This cross-ply construction process increases the dimensional stability of the wood, which makes it useful in places that previously were not recommended for wood floors, like bathrooms or basements.
The National Wood Flooring Association has a consumer web site available that provides a great deal of information about wood floors, including the differences between solid and engineered products. For more information, visit www.woodfloors.org.
The National Wood Flooring Association is a non-profit trade organization, with more than 3,200 members world-wide, dedicated to educating consumers, architects, designers, specifiers and builders in the uses and benefits of wood flooring. NWFA members receive the best in educational training, benefits, technical resources and networking, to advance their professionalism and success. The NWFA is located at 111 Chesterfield Industrial Boulevard, Chesterfield, MO 63005, and can be contacted at 800-422-4556 (USA & Canada), 636-519-9663 (local and international), or on-line at www.nwfa.org.
President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act on Sept. 27, which the Hardwood Federation says will lend $30 billion to community banks with the goal of lending money to small businesses. The new law includes $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses. “It would exclude from taxes all capital gains on sales of small-business stock, and accelerate tax write-offs for purchases of equipment and other property. Specifically, to motivate companies to spend money on equipment, the provision of the 2009 Recovery Act which allowed businesses to write off up to $250,000 of equipment is extended through 2011 and increased to a maximum of $500,000,” the Hardwood Federation said. The group also points out that hardwood suppliers might target restaurant owners and retailers, who could receive tax breaks for remodeling their stores or building new ones.
La Choob’s Home Wood Collection has come to fruition after seven years of extensive research in contemporary and traditional designs of wood work products. This unique collection combines patterns borrowed from traditional custom wood handcrafts, with contemporary design to create a unique blend of today’s life style with classical 15th century accentuation.
The ancient art of Khatam-Kari was very popular amongst royal princes in the 15th century. They were encouraged to learn this art along with music and painting. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the interest in Khatam declined significantly. Approximately 70 years ago, special craft schools in several major cities of Iran such as Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz were established to revitalize the traditional crafts such as Khatam.
“Khatam” in Persian means “incrustation” and “Khatam-kari” means “incrustation work”. This craft consists of production of incrustation patterns (generally star shaped), with thin sticks of wood (ebony, teak, ziziphus, orange, rose) and brass (for golden parts). Coming from techniques imported from China and improved by Persian know-how, this craft existed for more than 700 years and is still perennial in Shiraz and Isfahan.
This new approach to hardwood design based on Khatam-Kari techniques has opened new doors to designers, architects and builders enabling them to offer world-renowned unique and innovative products.