For Immediate Release
June 10, 2020
Contact: ITA Office of Public Affairs
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the initiation of an inquiry into whether imports of hardwood plywood (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. 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 pursuant to requests from the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood, whose members are the following U.S. producers of plywood: Columbia Forest Products, Commonwealth Plywood Inc., Murphy Plywood, States Industries Inc., and Timber Products Company.
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.
If 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 Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on plywood from Vietnam. These duties will be imposed on future imports, and on any unliquidated entries since the date on which Commerce initiated these inquiries.
The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump administration. Since the beginning of the current administration, Commerce has initiated 28 new circumvention inquiries – this is a 115 percent increase from the number of circumvention initiations made during the comparable period in the previous administration.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade law and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international rules and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.