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Newsletter

ITA Issues Final Determination on Certain Wooden Bedroom Furniture From China

November 19, 2004

On November 17, 2004, the International Trade Administration published to the Federal Register its final determination in the case on Wooden Bedroom Furniture (WBF) from China. Previously, on November 9, 2004, the ITA had released an advance copy of its determination in the form of a fact sheet.

Scope

The decision modifies the scope language to exclude certain mirrors and jewelry armoires and can be found described in the publication.

Deposit Rates

The final determination provides cash deposit rates on imports of bedroom furniture from China for mandatory respondents ranging from 2.2 percent to 16.7 percent. Notably, the "Section A" deposit rate has decreased from 12.91 percent to 8.64 percent. This rate is applicable to 106 Chinese companies, which export approximately 50 percent of the covered product into the United States. The country-wide rate has remained at 198 percent.

While the reduction in rates is nowhere near the level that the domestic petitioners had originally requested (400 percent), the decision also comes at a time in which over 16,500 furniture worker jobs have been lost in North Carolina, and in an industry in which approximately 71,000 jobs have been lost, nationwide, in the past 5 years.

The revised deposit rates become effective on the day of publication in the Federal Register (FR), November 17, 2004.

Next a final injury determination will have to be made by the ITC (expected by December 23, 2004), and if this is affirmative, then the antidumping order will be signed. (Expected on December 30, 2004.)

The final dumping deposit rates were described on the final determination, as follows:

PRODUCER/EXPORTER

DUMPING MARGIN

Rui Feng Woodwork Co., Ltd., Rui Feng Lumber Development Co., Ltd., and Dorbest Limited (collectively, Dorbest Group)

16.70%

Starcorp Furniture (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., Orin Furniture (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., and Shanghai Starcorp Furniture Co., Ltd. (collectively, Starcorp)

15.24%

Tech Lane Wood Mfg. and Kee Jia Wood Mfg . (collectively, Tech Lane)

198.08%

Dongguan Lung Dong Furniture Co., Ltd. and Dongguan Dong He Furniture Co., Ltd (Dongguan Lung Dong)

2.22%

Lacquer Craft Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (Lacquer Craft)

6.95%

Markor International Furniture (Tianjin) Manufacture Co., Ltd. (Markor Tianjin)

0.79%
(de minimis)

Shing Mark Enterprise Co., Ltd., Carven Industries Limited (BVI), Carven Industries Limited (HK), Dongguan Zhenzin Furniture Co., Ltd., and Dongguan Yongpeng Furniture Co., Ltd. (Shing Mark)

5.07%

Section A Respondents
("Separate Rate")

8.64%

PRC-wide Entity

198.08%

The final determination contains the full list of China companies which qualified as Section A Respondents.

Annual Reviews

While, for many companies this final determination represents a percentage reduction, it is important to emphasize that for entries made after June 24, 2004, this represents merely a deposit rate, and will be subject to the results of the "annual review" procedures.

If, as expected, the order is signed in December 2004, then an annual review would be expected to be initiated in December 2005, covering all entries suspended from the date of the ITA's preliminary determination (June 17, 2004), until approximately, December 2005.

Thus, in December 2005, the domestic petitioners will have the right to name exporting companies for which the ITA may choose to require to answer a full questionnaire. Thus, the domestics may also request the ITA to verify the legal independence of any or all section A exporters. The domestic petitioners have already announced their intention to pursue those annual review investigations. Because of the Byrd Amendment, a statute providing that such domestic companies can obtain a share of the antidumping duties, the domestics have every incentive to vigorously pursue the review to maximize the duties collected.

China exporters, however, should note that the annual review process can also provide a benefit to those who choose to participate fully. By participating in the annual review, some companies may attempt to secure even lower dumping rates than their competitors.  

It is not yet clear whether the annual review will include a mechanism for companies under the China-wide rate to submit Section A applications.

Current Section A companies should take note that Commerce has requested comments as to amending the requirements for a company to qualify at the Section A rate, and that such changes may be implemented before the first annual review takes place.  

Finally, we note that the dumping rates may also be subject to judicial review, since interested parties may elect to challenge many aspects of the Commerce decision in the courts. This may include a challenge to Commerce's decision not to approve an application requesting that the highly competitive Chinese furniture industry be considered a market economy.  

If you have any questions on any of the issues raised in this newsletter, please contact Stephen Spraitzar at (415) 288-0427 or via email at sss@tuttlelaw.com.

Stephen Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco. The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

Copyright 2005 by Tuttle Law Offices.

All rights reserved. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.

 

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