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AFCJF disappointed by ITC’s affirmation of petition

WASHINGTON—In a statement released by the Alliance for  Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring (AFCJF), the group announced the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted today to affirm the petition on punitive anti-dumping duties on engineered flooring from China.

The vote was 4 – 2 for the Petition.

Comments on the decision are expected to be released on Nov. 22, which will explain the basis for the Commission’s decision.

Most observers expect the decision to appear in the Federal Registrar sometime after Nov. 27.  Retroactive liability will be enforced on any imports that enter the country after that date.

Respondents will have until Dec. 22 to choose to appeal the decision.

Jonathan Train, Alliance president, stated that, “Of course we are all very disappointed that the ITC failed to recognize fundamental flaws in the petitioners’ case.  We knew when we started that the system is designed to make it nearly impossible for the ITC to deny a Petition even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  We see this as a failure of the system rather than any validation of the petitioners’ claims.

“We eagerly await our chance to review the commentary and will decide then if we wish to appeal the decision with the higher courts.  Those courts are less restricted by the artificial constraints of the anti-dumping analysis and have a greater ability to rule on the actual facts of the case.  This opportunity to appeal should be considered a very viable option for the Respondents.

“We feel that no matter what the final results are in this case, the work by the Alliance has benefited the industry this past year and I am extremely proud of our organization and all our membership.  The fact alone that we were able to achieve low duty rates at both the preliminary and final rulings has minimized the disturbance to the industry.  This gives all importers breathing room to organize their long-term supply.”

The Alliance will be hosting several phone calls over the next month for their Primary membership to discuss how a dumping order is enforced, covering the details of retroactive liability, the review system, future rate changes, circumvention issues and other factors that importers will need to understand to conduct business smoothly under the order.

FCNews will continue covering this story and bring perspectives from all parties involved, including the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity (CAHP). Please check back for more.