WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Less than two weeks from a February 20th U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) final injury hearing, The American Coalition of Cabinet Distributors (ACCD) remains confident that the ITC will find that imports of Ready-to Assemble (RTA) cabinets have not injured the petitioners in the Wooden Cabinets and Vanities from China trade case.
The Coalition today released a letter to the ITC from members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation in support of the state’s RTA kitchen cabinet industry.
“We hope that the Commission will consider the unique characteristics of the RTA kitchen cabinet market in weighing this decision,” wrote New Jersey Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker and Representatives Albio Sires, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Bonnie Watson Coleman. “Over the past ten years, American entrepreneurs have built the RTA sector from nothing, developing warehouse and distribution cabinetry businesses that utilize global supply chains to reliably provide customers with affordable and high-quality cabinets in a matter of days. These companies and the products they distribute help support tens of thousands of jobs across the United States.” The full letter can be found here.
“We are confident that the ITC will look at the facts of this case and find no injury,” said ACCD counsel Matthew Nicely, Partner, Hughes Hubbard & Reed. “The thriving U.S. cabinet market is approximately $30 billion, far larger than petitioners claim, and imports from China comprise well less than 10% of the total U.S. market. The fair trade laws were simply not meant to be used to impose trade restrictions on imports that are growing their own market in the United States based on distinct, qualitative product characteristics that are unavailable from domestically sourced merchandise.”
U.S. RTA companies serve a niche demand for RTA cabinets in the United States that prioritizes limited selection and short lead times over customized products that take many weeks to complete. U.S. producers are not supplying that industry segment, with the notable exception of large U.S. companies like Masterbrand and American Woodmark, who also import to meet that demand—but are acting as petitioners in this trade case.
“Masterbrand, American Woodmark and the other U.S. producers that import RTA cabinets are well aware that these RTA products do not compete head-to-head with their domestically produced stock, custom and semi-custom product lines,” said Nicely.
“Pointing fingers at China and alleging that imports are the cause of the U.S. industry’s problems is a convenient way to explain away all manner of changes to the marketplace environment, but the data collected in this case demonstrates that some domestic producers often price their products even lower than imports,” continued Nicely. “The U.S. producers selling at those lower prices are the larger companies. It’s time for the U.S. industry to stop blaming imports for perceived problems and face the reality of intra-industry price competition.”
“This is an opportunistic trade petition filed by made-to-order cabinet companies that have themselves imported significant volumes of product from China in the last several years,” said Randy Goldstein, CEO of Raleigh, NC-based Kitchen Cabinet Distributors. “We are confident that the U.S. government will see through the petitioners’ cynical ploy and decide to support entrepreneurial U.S. RTA cabinet companies.”
For additional information on the American Coalition of Cabinet Distributors visit www.americancabinetdistributors.org.