A hot debate, pitting U.S. hardwood plywood makers versus hardwood plywood importers, has raged since the trade case was first filed in September 2012 by the CFTHP. The CFTHP, which includes Columbia Forest Products, Timber Products and others, argued that Chinese hardwood plywood was being unfairly subsidized by the Chinese government and sold at less than fair value in the U.S.
Hardwood plywood importers and the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA), banding together as the American Alliance for Hardwood Plywood (AAHP), successfully argued that most hardwood plywood from China is of lower grade than U.S. plywood and is less prone to be used in decorative applications. The AAHP claimed that increased duties on imported Chinese hardwood plywood would create market uncertainty and job loss. KraftMaid Cabinetry had even planned a price hike in response to the higher tariffs.
Hardwoods Distribution Inc. of Langley, BC, which imports hardwood plywood from China, said it would "closely follow the appeal process that has been initiated by Petitioners. It is expected a ruling from the U.S. court system will take 18 to 24 months, and that no duty liabilities related to importing Chinese hardwood plywood would arise during that period of time."
Hardwood Distribution estimates that approximately 14 percent of its total sales are of product imported from China that fall within the scope of this trade dispute.