The US has decided to conduct an investigation on whether Vietnam is dumping plywood products in the US. The decision could lead to a sharp fall in plywood exports to the market.
The US Department of Commerce (DOC) on June 9 said it would examine plywood products from Vietnam, one of the products which saw the sharpest export growth rate to the US in recent years.
The decision about the investigation was made based on accusations of trade fraud related to products from Vietnam to the US.
Do Xuan Lap, CEO and president of Tien Dat Furniture, said the move will severely affect Vietnam’s woodwork industry. If the US imposes anti-dumping duties, not only export companies but also forest planters who provide materials to make plywood will suffer.
“The impact will be extreme,” Lao said. “Woodwork companies will have a meeting to discuss the issues related to plywood later this month. We will discuss the hiring of a lawyer. "
According to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association (Vifores), about 400 companies export plywood, mostly to the US. The export amount is 2 million cubic meters and export turnover is $678 million a year.
Vu Hai Bang, CEO of Woodland, said since late March, after information that the US would conduct an investigation on plywood imports, Woodland’s exports to the market dropped by 75 percent.
Bang went on to say that the decision would not only affect plywood production companies, but also companies using the product to make wooden furniture for export to the US.
This also gives favorable conditions for the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance to sue Vietnam’s companies. Kitchen cabinets, one of the products exported in large quantities recently, use plywood.
According to Vifores, in the first four months of 2020, while office furniture exports decreased by 13 percent, and bedroom furniture by 11 percent compared with the same period last year, other items such as kitchen furniture, furnishings made from other types of wood and furniture parts saw increases of 58 percent, 4 percent and 22 percent, respectively.
“Our company and other businesses will suffer heavily if kitchen cupboards are also subject to investigation,” Bang said.
Lap said if the US investigates further, this will affect all of Vietnam’s wooden furniture exports, worth $2-3 billion.
Vifores predicted that woodwork exports may have zero percent or minus growth rate this year bcause of Covid-19.
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