Last month’s release of findings by the Department of Commerce (DOC), with affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) of multilayered (engineered) wood flooring from China marks a turning point as the investigation nears its end. The release of the DOC determinations coincided with hearings by the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Oct. 12.

The DOC determined that Chinese producers/exporters have sold multilayered wood flooring in the U.S. at dumping margins, with 74 qualifying for a separate rate of 3.31%. Mandatory respondents Zhejiang Yuhua (Yuhua) Timber Co. received a dumping rate of zero percent; Zhejiang Layo Wood Industry (Layo), 3.98%; and Samling Group, 2.63%. Non-responding Chinese producers received a dumping rate of 58.84%.

In the countervailing duty investigation, mandatory respondent Fine Furniture (Shanghai) Ltd. and its affiliate Great Wood (Tonghua) Ltd. and Fine Furniture Plantation (Shishou) Ltd. received a net subsidy rate of 1.5% Other mandatory respondents Layo and its affiliate Jiaxing Brilliant Import & Export Co., 0.33% (de minimis); and Yuhua, 0.47% (de minimis). Non-responding Chinese producers/exporters totaling 124 were assigned an adverse facts available rate of 26.73% ad valorem. All other Chinese producers/exporters received a net subsidy rate of 1.5% ad valorem.

The dumping and subsidy rates announced by the DOC represent deposit requirements for estimated penalty duties, which are subject to retroactive revision.

The investigation follows a petition filed in late October 2010 by the Coalition for American Hardwood Parity (CAHP), an association of U.S. engineered wood manufacturers. Jeff Levin, CAHP lead counsel stated: “We are pleased that the Commerce Department has agreed with what the U.S. industry stated from the beginning of this process. The vast majority of Chinese imports are unfairly traded. This industry presented a very compelling case to the ITC.”

Jonathan Train, president of the Alliance for Free Choice and Jobs in Flooring (AFCJF), representing American flooring importers, distributors, retailers and hardwood timber exporters said, “We applaud the DOC for finding even lower rates in this final phase of their investigation.

The final ITC determination will be released on Nov. 22 and the issuance of order on Nov. 29.

Five to Receive NAFCD 2011 Lifetime Achievement Awards

For the first time since the North American Association of the Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) began presenting its Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2008, multiple winners have been selected: Roger Hunt, Flex Credit; L.A., Kenny, and Jeff Train, Swiff-Train Co.; and Donald Wohlfarth, Sr., Bayard Sales Corp.

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors exceptional leadership or contributions that have led to expanding the vision of the floor covering distribution industry. “Together, Roger, L.A., Kenny, Jeff, and Donald have given more than 26 decades to the floor covering industry. As we navigate through this tough economy, we will be turning to the wisdom of these pioneers to help us get back to the basics of what made us successful,” said NAFCD president Bob Wagner.

Roger Hunt started in wholesale flooring in 1952 in customer service and worked his way up to svp/gm of Carson Pirie Scott’s wholesale flooring division. He went on to become the Flex Credit (floor covering consumer credit association) exec. dir. Hunt currently serves on the Floor Covering Industry Foundation board of directors.

For the last 49 years L.A., Kenny, and Jeff Train have grown Swiff-Train from a small family Texas business to an international wholesale flooring company with eight branch locations, as well as a strong import/export business.

Don Wohlfarth, Sr. started working in the warehouse of Bayard Sales Corp. in 1950 and rose through the ranks. He purchased the company in the early 1990s.

Each recipient will receive his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nov. 9 NAFCD annual business meeting in Nashville.