Cabinet Trade Could Be Impacted by Proposed Chinese Tariffs

Reston, VA — The U.S. cabinet industry would be “directly impacted” as a result of proposed new tariffs to be imposed on a wide range of wood-related imports from China, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association said last week.

The Reston, VA-based KCMA issued its comment in response to the release by U.S. trade officials of a lengthy list of Chinese goods that would be subject to a potential new tariff resulting from the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. The products include kitchen cabinets, modular vanities, cabinet components, MDF, fiberboard, veneered panels and laminated wood, all of which would potentially be subject to a proposed 10% duty imposed in retaliation to tariffs that China recently imposed on U.S. goods.

It was not immediately clear when the new tariffs would go into effect, or what specific impact the duties would have on the U.S. cabinet trade. The KCMA said, however, that its attorneys suspect that the Chinese imports targeted for the tariff represent “a significant volume/value of imports” and would “directly impact the cabinet industry.”

KCMA CEO Betsy Natz is expected to make a recommendation to the association’s Board of Directors regarding the estimated impact of the proposed tariffs on U.S. manufacturers and the cabinet trade. KCMA officials will then report to its membership the direction that the Board agrees to undertake, the association said. Those details were not available as of press time.

The U.S. has charged that China, for many years, has pursued abusive trading practices that have resulted in the transfer and theft of intellectual property and technology to the detriment of the U.S. – in effect, forcing U.S. innovators to hand over their technology and expertise as the price of doing business in China. China has denied the practice.

The U.S. recently began imposing tariffs of 25% on approximately $34 billion worth of Chinese products that allegedly benefit from China’s industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices. China then retaliated by imposing tariffs on $34 billion in U.S. exports to China, and threatening tariffs on another $16 billion. The Trump Administration then ordered the imposition of tariffs of 10% on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports.

U.S. trade officials have established several key dates for public comment regarding the potential new tariffs. Among them:

July 27 – Deadline to submit written request to testify at an Aug. 20 public hearing.

Aug. 17 – Deadline to submit written comments addressing product listing.

Aug. 20 – Public hearing to address product listing.

Aug. 30 – Deadline for submitting post-hearing written rebuttal comments.

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