Firms Group To Fight Wood Dumping Charge
Corpus Christi, TX, Feb. 7, 2011 -- Some American flooring distributors, retailers and importers have formed an advocacy group to resist an attempt by some large U.S. manufacturers to have the U.S. government impose measures against imported engineered hardwood flooring from China.
The group, called the Alliance for Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring, was formed during the Surfaces 2011 flooring trade show in Las Vegas last month, according to AFCJF President Jonathan Train, of Swiff-Train, in a press release.
The group said it is opposing a petition filed by Mannington, Shaw and some other U.S. manufacturers (The Coalition for American Hardwood Parity) of engineered hardwood flooring at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and Commerce Department (DOC).
The petitioners have asked the U.S. government to impose tariffs of 237% or more. The alliance is seeking to defeat the case by showing the government why they believe the petitioners' allegations lack merit.
The alliance said it consists of American-owned distributors, retailers, importers and end users of engineered wood flooring as well as hardwood lumber exporters and other affected U.S. companies in related industries. However, the members were not identified in the press release and are also not listed on the group's website.
Train said that “most of the American-owned companies who will be victimized by the petitioners are small and medium-sized businesses.”
Joe DuPree, a member of the AFCJF Board of Directors, said in the press release, “This petition is not so much about China as it is about eliminating American independent distribution and private label programs. Mannington and Shaw are the two largest petitioners in this case and the largest companies in the entire flooring market. If they are successful in restricting imports from China, and ultimately, from elsewhere around the world, it will have the effect of driving the independents out of the market by cutting them off from their source of supply. The real target of this case is not the Chinese, but the first stage of a strategy to hobble the U.S. companies that compete with the petitioners.”
The alliance's press release said that a two pronged response is necessary because the ITC and the DOC approach these cases differently.
“In contrast to the ITC, which has found no injury in a number of antidumping and countervailing duty cases against China, the Commerce Department finds dumping in 90% to 95% of the antidumping cases and has never reached a negative dumping determination in an antidumping case against China," Train said.