Officials from the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association remain bullish over future prospects for the KCMA, which will continue to pursue current trade policies in the wake of resignations by a trio of major domestic suppliers, according to CEO Betsy Natz.
Natz told Kitchen & Bath Design News in an exclusive interview this week that the KCMA will continue its efforts to combat circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders imposed by U.S trade officials on wooden cabinets, vanities and components from China, including requests that officials probe alleged evasion taking place via the transshipment of Chinese-made products through Malaysia and Vietnam.
“AD/CVD orders have provided strong relief to the U.S. domestic industry from unfairly traded imports from China,” said Natz, adding that “evasion and circumvention activities in Malaysia and Vietnam involving Chinese cabinets and components have eroded this relief.”
“Evasion of the AD/CVD orders is a significant problem that needs to be addressed,” Natz said. “The KCMA believes it is vital to continue efforts to ensure that the domestic industry receives the full relief to which it is entitled and can compete on a level playing field with imports of wooden cabinets and vanities.”
Natz’s comments were issued in the wake of last week’s announcement that Cabinetworks Group, MasterBrand Cabinets and American Woodmark, three major pillars of the 300+-member KCMA, resigned following rejection of the companies’ request that the KCMA withdraw anti-circumvention petitions related to products allegedly made in China and then subsequently transshipped into the U.S. from Vietnam and Malaysia in order to evade trade duties.
KCMA and its ally, the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance (AKCA), have for several years been spearheading proceedings before the Commerce Dept., Customs and Border Protection officials, and U.S. International Trade Commission to halt alleged tariff evasion and other unfair trading practices by Chinese importers. While the Commerce Dept. has issued AD/CVD orders aimed at the Chinese imports, KCMA and AKCA officials have since requested that trade officials conduct investigations into charges that importers are evading or circumventing the duties imposed on the products – an effort that Cabinetworks Group, MasterBrand Cabinets and American Woodmark have opposed.
The three companies stated that they are “not aligned with KCMA’s effort.”
While Natz said that KCMA officials are receptive to re-establishing a relationship with the three companies should they reconsider their decision to resign, the KCMA “will always stand up to countries that engage in unfair trade practices, and we are proud to support domestic cabinet manufacturing.”
“KCMA’s mission transcends the support of any one member,” said Natz. “KCMA has supported the cabinet industry since the 1950s. Our membership is more dedicated than ever to see our association not only thrive but to exceed over and above what we’ve done in the past.”