Randy Yohe Published

Federal Ruling On Foreign Hardwood Imports Helps W.Va. Plywood/Veneer Industry

A stack of wooden sheetsCoalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently ruled that imports of hardwood plywood products completed in Vietnam, but mainly produced in China, violated federal antidumping laws.   

Keith Christman, national president of the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood said the ruling follows a history of unfair trade with the Asian nations.

“We saw movement of that production from China to Vietnam with only minor modifications,” Christman said. “We saw a dramatic increase in imports of hardwood plywood from Vietnam, in fact, 800 percent from 2018 to 2022. And it was an important threat, a big threat to U.S. production of hardwood plywood.” 

Christman said the ruling puts about a 200 percent duty on those products.

“The Commerce Department determined this material was being dumped from Vietnam and using Chinese production and was subject to the duties that are, in fact, on Chinese hardwood plywood,” he said. 

Christman says West Virginia’s hardwood industry supports about 10,000 jobs with more than $1 billion in economic output, and the ruling removes a major economic threat.

“It’s important to maintain these fair trade practices and we think it’s a big win for workers in the United States and West Virginia as well,” Christman said.

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said in a press release that state hardwood plywood manufacturing has been disrupted in recent years due to China’s unfair import practices, and calls the ruling a major victory.   

“This is wonderful news for our manufacturers and workforce in our hardwood plywood and veneer industry in West Virginia” Capito said. “I will always stand in support of our manufacturers in West Virginia, and fight to make certain they are not improperly disadvantaged by China’s misleading economic practices.” 

The West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone notes on its website that the state puts out more than 1.5 billion square feet of wood panel and veneer annually.