Department of Commerce Investigates Hardwood Imports

July 8th, 2020 by Tara Taffera

In June, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it is looking into whether imports of hardwood plywood completed in Vietnam, using components from China, are circumventing the existing antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on hardwood plywood from China, according to a press release by the International Trade Administration. Commerce is also initiating a concurrent inquiry to determine whether such imports are covered by the scope of the AD/CVD orders on plywood from China.

These inquiries are being initiated based on requests from the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood, a group who describes its mission as “to protect and preserve the U.S. hardwood plywood industry—its manufacturers, workers and communities—by combating China’s illegal trade practices.”

Under U.S. law, Commerce may conduct a circumvention inquiry when evidence suggests that merchandise subject to an AD or CVD order is completed or assembled in a third country using parts and components from the country subject to the order. In addition, Commerce may conduct a scope inquiry to determine whether certain merchandise is covered by the scope of an existing AD or CVD order,” states the release from the International Trade Administration.

If the Department of Commerce preliminarily determines that plywood from Vietnam is circumventing the existing AD/CVD orders, or that such plywood is within the scope of the orders, then the department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on plywood from Vietnam, according to that release.

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