DHA® eNews - Exporters Dodge Tariffs, China's Exports Surge

Decorative Hardwoods Association® (formerly HPVA) eNews Volume XI, Issue XIX: China's Exports Surge | Change To Tariff Schedule Affects Plywood | Exporters Dodge Tariffs | Global Construction Set To Rise To $13 Trillion

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Lumber Liquidators Settles Formaldehyde Claims

A federal district court approved Lumber Liquidators' $36 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit for formaldehyde emissions violations. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 760,000 customers who purchased Chinese-made laminate flooring from the company between 2009 and 2015. Lumber Liquidators, who initially disputed the findings of a 60 Minutes investigative report, was also fined $2.5 million by CARB in 2016.

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Exporters Dodge Tariffs

Some Chinese exporters are changing the HTS destination codes on products to dodge tariffs, reports the Wall Street Journal. Right after the U.S. Department of Commerce opened a Chinese dumping investigation in November 2016 on hardwood-faced plywood, some Chinese producers began shipping plywood under four codes related to softwood-faced plywood. U.S. imports of Chinese hardwood-faced plywood dropped 20% last year while imports coded as softwood-faced plywood shot up 549%.

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Tariff Schedule Change Affects Plywood

The U.S. request to revise wood product tariff schedules was approved, separating plywood into two new subheadings. Subheading 4412.32 for plywood has been cut and replaced with 4412.33 for plywood with at least one outer ply of specified species. Subheading 4412.34 was created for plywood with at least one outer ply of a species of non-coniferous wood.

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China's Exports Surge

Chinese exports jumped 15% in September vs. last year, surpassing the previous month's performance and analysts' forecasts. Per China Customs, the value of China's wood products grew to $81 billion in the first half of 2018, up 9% vs. last year, as the value of exports rose 6% to $39 billion.

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