DHA eNews - Commerce Supports Continued Duties On China
Recent trade rulings dominate our top stories in this issue. Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued affirmative determinations in the sunset reviews for both the antidumping and countervailing duties on hardwood plywood and multilayered wood flooring from China. This is an important ruling that foreshadows the continuation of duties for five years on both of these products. If the U.S. International Trade Commission reaches a similar finding, as is expected, this will represent a big win for many DHA members who participate in those trade coalitions.
Advocacy is also heating uphttps://www.decorativehardwoods.org/admin/content around the farm bill, appropriations, and taxes. Several stories below highlight DHA's advocacy with partners to promote our products and sustainable forestry, and to protect family businesses from death taxes.
In preparation for our Annual Meeting, DHA will host a webinar with the American Hardwood Export Council's expert on the EU deforestation law. See the story below for more details and to register.
If you have questions or comments, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association
Last week, the Department of Commerce issued affirmative determinations in the sunset review of both antidumping and countervailing duties on hardwood plywood and multilayered wood flooring from China. The two rulings represent critical steps in maintaining the duties for another five years and support the positions of the Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood and the American Manufacturers of Multilayered Wood Flooring. Both coalitions include DHA members. The U.S. International Trade Commission will complete its review later this spring or summer.
The Department of Commerce extended the timeline to May 2 for its final decision in the circumvention case on hardwood plywood imported from Vietnam. The ruling, initially expected in March, appears to be delayed due to the large number and length of the briefs filed. Commerce released a preliminary finding of circumvention last July. Duties have been in place since then.
The DHA American National Standard for Due Diligence in Procuring/Sourcing Legal Timber is now available for public comment through April 24, 2023. To request a copy of the revised standard, contact Josh Hosen, DHA Technical Director, at email@example.com. Submit all comments directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, cc: email@example.com. The full public notice is on page 14 of the March 10 ANSI Standards Action.
The Department of Commerce issued a preliminary affirmative scope ruling that wooden cabinets, vanities, and components from China are covered in the circumvention case on cabinets from Malaysia and Vietnam. The agency rejected arguments from Cabinetworks and MasterBrand that certain parts of cabinets are not covered by the rule.
DHA joined the Forest Resource Association and others in a letter to the House and Senate Agriculture Committee in support of farm bill provisions to establish training programs on the workforce needs of the forest industry. DHA also supported an effort led by the Hardwood Federation requesting funding to assess and ultimately reward carbon stored in wood products.
DHA joined the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition in thanking Senator Thune for introducing the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2023 to permanently repeal the estate tax. The temporary increase in the estate tax exemption from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will expire at the end of 2025, increasing uncertainty and planning costs. Action is needed to protect family-owned businesses.
The waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule went into effect on March 20. After hearing from the housing, infrastructure, and agriculture sectors, the U.S. Senate approved a resolution against it, as did the House of Representatives. The resolution of disapprovl will be sent to the President's desk, where President Biden will likely veto it. However, the Supreme Court is expected to rule soon in a case that questions what waterways the government can regulate.
DHA will host a webinar on EU deforestation requirements with American Hardwood Export Council's expert Rupert Oliver on Monday, April 17, at noon ET.
A new report published by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations highlights the positive effects of forests. The report from IUFRO, which unites more than 15,000 scientists from hundreds of organizations, states that evidence strongly supports that there is a wide range of physical, mental, social, and spiritual benefits associated with forests and green spaces.
A recent study showed that humid tropical forests recovering from degradation and deforestation can absorb a vast amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and could be influential in addressing climate change.
There are at least 650 vacant positions waiting to be filled within the forest industry in Ontario alone. Studies have examined what is needed to develop a strong workforce for the forest industry, as the shortage of forestry workers is preventing the sector from reaching its full economic potential that would benefit communities across the province.
An environmental group has accused Japan of failing to stop more than $410 million worth of "conflict timber" from Russia. Activists say that Japanese construction firms are using loopholes to keep buying wood from Russia, despite sanctions triggered by the attack on Ukraine.
The Forest Stewardship Council will withdraw any remaining forest management certificates in Russia on May 1, as security for the people involved in oversight activities in Russia can no longer be guaranteed.
In 2022, Russia was China's primary supplier of imported plywood. China's imports of plywood from Russia skyrocketed by more than 6,000% to 26,952 cubic meters, comprising 78% of the national total. What's driving this: Chinese enterprises have built plywood manufacturing facilities in Russia and have been transporting that plywood to China on the China-Europe railway.
Vietnam has become a key player in the global furniture industry. Now the second largest wood furniture exporter after China, Vietnam exports furniture to more than 100 countries.
According to data from China's forest products organizations, the number of plywood manufacturing businesses within China declined by about 14% to 10,800 last year. Plywood production also declined in 2022, but only by 6.3%.
In a series of articles on design, veneer surfaces were characterized as adding warmth to any environment, and therefore ideal for use in furniture, cabinetry, case goods, and other residential and commercial applications. The articles provide more detail: "A sustainable alternative to solid wood, the veneer flitch is laid up on composite cores, typically MDF, particleboard or plywood, with the cut and panel match playing a critical role in the appearance...of the final project."
A new application is making the use of transparent wood practical. Researchers at the University of Colorado have developed a clear aerogel made from wood that could be used instead of air in double-glazed windows, making the windows as insulating as walls.
Researchers have shown that anti-forestry activists mixed science and litigation without disclosing potential conflicts of interest when creating key reports, stating that these activists were "selectively using data that support their agenda." One author put it more bluntly: "I and my colleagues are getting tired of the type of activism that pretends to be science and in fact is just self-serving garbage."
Which three countries are expanding their forests the most?