LUKE MEISNER, SCHAGRIN ASSOCIATES
Below is an update on the international trade matters in which our firm has been engaged on behalf of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has published the most recent U.S. import statistics, which include data for February 2021. As can be seen from the chart below, the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties (“AD/CVD”) orders on Wooden Cabinets, Vanities, and Components Thereof from China continues to have a huge beneficial impact for U.S. domestic cabinet producers.
However, there have been significant increases of U.S. imports of cabinets, vanities, and components thereof from other countries:
- Imports from the countries of Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, and Indonesia increased tremendously in 2020 after the AD/CVD duties were imposed on imports from China.
- In 2021, Thailand is emerging as another potential significant source of imports.
- Cambodia showed a large increase in 2020, but imports have moderated somewhat in 2021, which may be attributable to the preliminary determination of evasion made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“Customs”) regarding transshipment through Cambodia.
KCMA has filed a number of allegations with Customs under the Enforce and Protect Act (“EAPA”) regarding the transshipment of Chinese cabinets through third countries. One of these allegations involves a company called BGI Group Inc., which does business under the name Cabinet Depot. As part of this scheme, a Chinese producer was producing three-piece cabinet components (doors, drawer fronts, and face frames) that were individually packaged in China to be married in a flatpack box with the remainder of the components to produce a full ready-to-assemble cabinet.
The packaged three-piece components were shipped to Cambodia, where they were combined in a flatpack box with the finished plywood pieces that comprise the cabinet box. The flatpack boxes were then shipped to BGI in the United States, where BGI declared the merchandise to be of Cambodian origin and did not pay any AD/CVD duties.