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US Importer Warns Ruling on Chinese Hardwood

Portland, Oregon, USA 30 April 2013 -- (Marketwired) -- Calling it a potentially disastrous development for thousands of small businesses, the top executive for a major US importer predicts that today's announcement by the US Department of Commerce of its decision to impose a 22.14% anti-dumping penalty on Chinese hardwood plywood will cause prices to increase, severely jeopardizing the livelihoods of tens of thousands of small businesses.

The new Anti-Dumping margin will go into effect this week and, combined with an existing 22.63% countervailing duty the Department imposed in February, will result in a total 44.77 % duty on imported plywood.

"This decision will only serve to pad the pockets of a few large and influential manufacturers at the expense of more than 20,000 US small businesses that rely on this material to build furniture, cabinetry, boats and other specialized products," said Ryan Loe, President of Portland Oregon based Shelter Forest International (SFI). "The US Commerce Department hasn't solved an existing problem. It has created a new one."

Chinese hardwood plywood importers like SFI and organizations such as the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers of America (KCMA) have long maintained that the highly specialized hardwood plywood imported from China is not available from US manufacturers and therefore poses no threat to them. They further maintain that imposing steep penalties will only shift production of finished cabinets and other products overseas where more affordable access to the unique plywood would be available.

Loe continued, "Since the countervailing duty decision was announced in February, product volume from China has predictably decreased and prices have risen as importers have passed along the cost of the duty to their customers. Interestingly, domestic producers, who are not affected by the duty, have also raised their prices in light of the higher cost of imported panels." 

Loe predicts that the anti-dumping penalties announced today could result in a 50% increase in the current price as importers pass along their additional costs and domestic producers use these penalties as a means to impose their own price increases. "I find it very ironic that the domestic producers who initiated the trade action in the first place and who were never threatened by these products are coming out as the only winners in this sad case," said Loe.

Shelter Forest International (SFI), an American company that manages the global supply chain for TigerPLY™ hardwood plywood, used by thousands of US manufacturers, has been working on building partnerships with wood fiber suppliers in China for the past decade. SFI's unique relationships have allowed the company to engineer specialty plywoods for a number of industries such as marine, recreational vehicles, furniture components and cabinet manufacturers.


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