U.S. Imposes Duties On Chinese Wood Flooring

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.

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