US widens plywood trade remedy inquiry

On May 2, the DOC is set to make a final determination to avoid trade remedies for Vietnamese-imported hardwood plywood.


The United States Department of Commerce (DOC) has now issued the sixth extension of the deadline to deliver final findings on the examination of evasion of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on plywood made from hardwood resources imported from Vietnam, according to the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam yesterday.

The DOC launched a trade remedy into Vietnam's hardwood plywood goods on June 17, 2020, based on claims from the local manufacturing sector, to ensure the effectiveness of trade remedy implemented measures against China's hardwood plywood.

On July 25, 2022, DOC published the preliminary results of its inquiry into the avoidance of trade remedies by Vietnamese importers of hardwood plywood.

The preliminary finding of the DOC was that Vietnamese plywood with a core composed of peeled Chinese wood would be subject to the same anti-dumping and anti-subsidy taxes as Chinese plywood.

Vietnam-origin plywood with a core of peeled boards made in Vietnam or other countries is exempt from anti-dumping and anti-subsidy taxes. As of June 17, 2020, the provisional tax rate applicable to imports entering the United States reached over 378 per cent.

The DOC exempts from circumvention both Vietnamese exporters and American importers who participate in the self-certification procedure. This self-certification procedure will not apply to firms deemed by the DOC to have failed to supply the required information or provided incomplete or erroneous information.

A written request for a hearing on the comments must be submitted to the DOC within 30 days following the notification of the preliminary finding. Before making a final determination, the DOC intends to perform due diligence to validate the facts.

During the survey period, the number of firms engaged in self-certification accounted for almost 80 per cent of Vietnam's export turnover, according to estimates by the Vietnam Timber & Forest Products Association.

Vietnam's exports of wood and wood products to the United States are projected to exceed $7.8 billion in 2022, a 3 per cent increase over the same period in 2021.

During the first two months of 2023, the value of Vietnam's exports of wood and wood products to the United States declined by over 47 per cent compared to the previous year.

The export value of wood and wood products reached $1.7 billion, representing a decrease of 31.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2022, in which the export value of wood products reached $1.05 billion, representing a decrease of 43.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.

According to the Agency for Foreign Trade, the United States is a market with significant consumer demand, but trade remedies pose a great threat.

This item proposes that enterprises consider the provenance of their products and resources. They must also simultaneously, investigate, appraise, and monitor early alerts on the prospect of trade remedies with wood goods.


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