Cabinet Makers File Trade Case Against China

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance, a newly formed coalition of organizations with ties to the U.S. cabinet industry, has initiated one of the largest trade cases ever filed against China, charging that Chinese unfair trade practices in cabinet and vanity manufacturing and exporting are undermining the businesses of U.S. suppliers and doing harm to American workers.

The case, filed at the Dept. of Commerce and the International Trade Commission (ITC), alleges that as a result of unfair trade practices, imports of lower-cost, Chinese-made kitchen cabinets into the U.S. have risen by than 75% since 2015, posing a serious threat to the $9.5-billion U.S. cabinet trade.

According to Tim Brightbill, a partner at the Washington, DC-based law firm Wiley Rein LLP, which filed unfair-trade petition, China “has manipulated global production and captured a large and growing portion of the market, manufacturing dumped and subsidized products (while taking) jobs away from hardworking Americans.”

The AKCA filing, said Brightbill, chief counsel for the AKCA, “demonstrates an important first step in stopping the surge of dumped and subsidized Chinese cabinet products coming into the United States.”

The AKCA, established in 2019, is seeking to have trade officials impose anti-dumping penalties on the Chinese, whose cabinet and vanity manufacturers and exporters have long benefited from government subsidies and other economic programs.

The AKCA said it is “standing up for more than 250,000 American workers across the industry,” adding that the U.S. kitchen cabinet trade is “under threat because of China not playing by established international rules.”

“Our cases aim to stand up to China’s cheating and level the playing field for American workers and their families, as we fight to protect an iconic American industry,” said Stephen Wellborn, of Wellborn Cabinet Inc. “Now is the time to stand up for American kitchen cabinet workers.”

“The U.S. has lost much of its furniture and textile industries, and China is now targeting American kitchen cabinets in the same way,” said Mark Trexler, president and CEO of Master Woodcraft Cabinetry. “China’s illegal trade practices are hurting American workers and consumers, and the AKCA’s historic filing is the first step in standing up to China.

With its filing, the AKCA said it is calling on the Trump administration and congressional allies “to join in the fight against unfair Chinese cheating and to create a level playing field for American kitchen cabinet workers.

“Critical U.S. industries – and the communities they support – cannot continue to be damaged because of China’s illegal trade practices,” the AKCA said.

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