US Kitchen Cabinet Industry Seeks Response to Alleged Customs Fraud
Today, U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN-02) sent a bipartisan letter signed by 35 Members of Congress to Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Department of Commerce and Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection on behalf of the U.S. kitchen cabinet industry and its over 250,000 workers to express concerns about alleged fraud on kitchen cabinet imports from China.
“Global trade is essential to U.S. businesses, but it must be conducted fairly. There is evidence that Chinese cabinet manufacturers have sought to undercut the U.S. industry by circumventing antidumping and countervailing duties,” said Spanberger. “Cabinet manufacturing supports hundreds of jobs in Central Virginia, and I’m committed to working across the aisle to protect these jobs and hold China accountable for their noncompliance with current trade laws.”
“China has a long history of unfair trade practices that put American jobs at risk, including many in northern Indiana,” Walorski said. “We need swift action to fully enforce U.S. trade remedy laws. I support investigating allegations of circumvention and will continue working to ensure American wooden cabinet and vanity manufacturers are treated fairly.”
“America’s manufacturing industry provides good-paying, steady jobs to Americans in my home state of West Virginia and across the nation. While global trade is important, supporting our regional economies, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic is vital to sustaining our communities and families. China’s unfair trade practices have done significant harm to America’s cabinet industry. Time is of the essence so we are urging Commerce and CBP to swiftly investigate and take necessary action to address China’s illegal trade practices and protect American manufacturing,” said Senator Manchin.
The industry received relief in the form of antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing (“CVD”) duties in April 2020 ranging from 13.33% to 269.91%, with an average of 58.89% for most importers. Since that time, the domestic kitchen cabinet industry has uncovered information to suggest that Chinese producers may be engaged in transshipment, circumvention, and evasion of the AD/CVD duties. In addition, the industry has taken steps to combat customs fraud and as a result, filed a series of e-allegations and an allegation through the Enforce and Protect Act to end these fraudulent practices and restore a level playing field for the domestic industry. These allegations remain pending at Customs.
“The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (“KCMA”) appreciates the leadership and support provided by Congress to ensure that the industry and its workers receive the relief intended from the duties,” said Betsy Natz, Chief Executive Officer, KCMA. “Their efforts will ensure that the trade agencies take appropriate and swift actions to end chronic fraud, circumvention, and evasion practices. The industry stands ready and is prepared to work with these agencies to allow U.S. manufacturers to continue contributing to the nation’s economy.”
“We thank these members of Congress – especially Senator Rounds of South Dakota – for stepping forward to encourage Customs and Commerce to look into these allegations. A level playing field and fair-trade practices are essential to ensure the success of the U.S. kitchen cabinet industry,” said Bill Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Showplace Cabinetry.
The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (“KCMA”) is a non-profit organization founded in 1955 to represent companies who manufacture cabinets, bath cabinets, or other residential cabinets and key kitchen and bath industry suppliers. KCMA advances the industry through advocacy, setting cabinet quality standards, sponsoring kitchen cabinet-related research and providing management tools and educational programs.
Source: Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association