U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) threw his support behind efforts by American hardwood plywood manufacturers to rein in unfair and illegal subsidies of imported plywood from China. The petition, led by four hardwood plywood manufacturers from Southwest Oregon, documents the continued use of illegal subsidies to dump artificially cheap Chinese hardwood plywood in American markets and requests the Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) take action.
"American manufacturers can't compete when the deck is unfairly stacked against them. The Department of Commerce and the ITC need to fully investigate and challenge China's unfair and illegal trade practices. We cannot afford to allow China to get away with manipulative trade practices that hurt American companies and cost us jobs. I strongly urge Commerce and the ITC to level the playing field," said DeFazio.
DeFazio is currently organizing a bipartisan letter of support for the trade petition that will be sent to the Department of Commerce and the ITC. DeFazio will also provide testimony at the upcoming ITC hearing.
Since China joined the World Trade Organization, the U.S. has lost over 2.8 million jobs including 8,400 in Southwest Oregon according to the Economic Policy Institute. China has repeatedly targeted U.S. manufacturing sectors using illegal subsides to undercut our industries.
According to the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP), illegal Chinese subsidies and "dumping" practices have substantially increased the market share growth of Chinese plywood imports in just a few short years. Because of the artificially low price of Chinese plywood, American manufacturers are priced out of the market and unable to compete. The petition asks the Department of Commerce and the ITC to investigate China's unfair trade practices and apply appropriate duties to "level the playing field".
Murphy Plywood (Eugene, OR), Roseburg Forest Products (Dillard, OR), States Industries (Eugene, OR), and Timber Products Company (Springfield, OR) led the petition along with hardwood plywood manufactures from North Carolina and New York.
Timber Products Company issued the following statement in response to DeFazio's support.
"Timber Products Company has taken steps in participation with the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood (CFTHP) to ensure both free and fair trade of hardwood panel products imported from the Peoples Republic of China. This is not a red state or blue state issue. This is a red, white and blue issue. We appreciate Congressman DeFazio's support of this very important issue for our company, our industry and our country," said Joe Gonyea, III of Timber Products Company.
For more information about the CFTHP petition and market information, please go to www.hardwoodplywoodfairtrade.org.