Governmental Crackdown on Chinese Imports

The recent political and business climate has seen additional scrutiny on imports of many products from China including steel, quartz, and plywood. Over the course of the last 12-18 months, the U.S. government has found evidence of the Chinese government subsidizing the import of these materials into the US and other countries, causing harm to domestic manufacturers and the overall market. In April of this year, countertop manufacturer Cambria filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions against Chinese quartz manufacturers, requesting a tariff of almost 456% to counteract the alleged dumping.  The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) have both heard initial evidence and will issue preliminary rulings later this month. Though we will likely not have a firm answer until next summer on whether or not the tariff will be levied, the uncertainty created by this case is already causing hesitancy and distrust in the international supply chain from distributors and customers alike. 

More recently, the U.S government announced a proposed list of additional Chinese imports to impose tariffs on, including cabinetry. In July, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer released a proposed list of $200 billion in Chinese goods that would be subject to a 10% tariff, in retaliation to tariffs China recently leveraged on U.S. goods in response to previous U.S. tariff impositions. In August, the USTR was asked by President Trump to look at raising the tariff amount to 25%. 

The merchandise potentially subject to this tariff includes several tariff classifications that directly impact the cabinet industry, though the list issued by the USTR provides classification codes out to the eight-digit level only. These classification codes include:

  • Kitchen cabinets – HTS subheading 9403.40.90.60
  • Modular vanities – HTS subheading 9403.60.80.81
  • Component parts of cabinets – HTS subheading 9403.90.70.80

Initially the public comment deadline for this action was August 30th; when the potential tariff amount was raised to 25%, the comment deadline was extended to September 6th. This Congressional action is initial and does not preclude additional future action against unfairly imported Chinese cabinets. Simply put, this could be just the beginning!

The potential tariff is not the only reason to avoid buying imported cabinetry. Over the next few weeks we’ll provide additional information on the benefits to buying domestic product from acpi. Advanta Cabinets is made in America and never assembled from imported ready-to-assemble (RTA) or “flat-pack” cabinets. We appreciate your business and look forward to growing our partnership with you.

Below are additional links related to the current USTR investigation.

Full USTR Announcement
Summary of Wood Products Included
Federal Register Notice

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