US to continue probes into China's hardwood, plywood

Updated: 2012-11-10 11:28


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WASHINGTON -- The US International Trade Commission, or USITC, on Friday voted to continue the Commerce Department's trade investigations against imports of hardwood and decorative plywood from China.

All six participating commissioners of the federal bipartisan trade panel voted in the affirmative, saying there was a reasonable indication that a US industry was materially injured by imports of the products that were allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

As a result, the Commerce Department can continue to conduct its investigations, with its preliminary countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty determinations due on or about Dec 21, 2012 and March 6, 2013, respectively.

The Commerce Department said in October that this products were sold at less than fair value in the US market, with a dumping margin of 298.36 percent and 321.68 percent and additional subsidies.

The investigations came as a response to a complaint filed by the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood of six US-based companies.

The United States imported an estimated $707.3 million of hardwood and plywood from China in 2011, which accounted for 35.1 percent of the US market, according to USITC data.

The US domestic industry comprised 20 producers with roughly 2,000 employees, producing $674.7 million of similar products.

As the world economy is slowing down, protectionism practices by the world's largest economy are on the rise. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged Washington to abide by its commitment against protectionism and help maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.