Chinese Import Duties Seen Aiding U.S. Cabinet Suppliers
RESTON, VA — The imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on unfairly traded Chinese cabinet and vanity imports has had a “huge beneficial impact” on domestic suppliers, although there has been a sharp rise in cabinet imports from other countries, as overseas importers and manufacturers allegedly attempt to circumvent the system to avoid paying the trade duties, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association has charged
According to the KCMA, the latest U.S. Commerce Dept. import statistics reveal that imports of Chinese cabinets and vanities “continue to be way down” since the imposition by U.S. trade officials of antidumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duties. After peaking at almost $160 million per month in December 2018, Chinese cabinet and vanity imports “plummeted dramatically” – to about $6 million per month, from June 2020 to November 2020 – after the AD/CVD duties were imposed last April, according to the KCMA.
“This shows that the AD/CVD duties are continuing to provide strong overall relief to American kitchen cabinet manufacturers,” said the Reston, VA-based KCMA, which represents most of the cabinet industry’s major domestic suppliers and has been lobbying trade officials to impose AD/CVD duties on government-subsidized cabinet/vanity imports that the KCMA alleges are unfairly traded in the U.S.
Despite the decline on imports from China, however, cabinet, vanities and component imports from other countries have risen to an average of about $140 million a month since June 2020, the KCMA reported. Imports from Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia “have increased tremendously” since the AD/CVD duties were imposed on Chinese imports, the KCMA said. There have also been “troubling increases” in imports from Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines, the trade association charged.
“Our research continues to show that these increased imports are due to a combination of transshipment of Chinese cabinets through these countries and new production facilities popping up in these countries,” the KCMA observed, adding that it has filed a series of allegations with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to ensure strict enforcement of the AD/CVD duty orders.
The KCMA’s Washington, DC-based trade counsel, Schagrin Associates, has been working on alleged anti-evasion efforts, while KCMA representatives have met “on numerous occasions” with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials “to research potential transshipment of Chinese merchandise through Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam (and) to scrutinize imports of cabinets at the border and take action where warranted,” the KCMA said.