From Paul’s Desk
By Paul Sova, president Showplace Cabinetry
Leaders in the American cabinet industry are mounting an active legal response to the threat posed to our industry by Chinese government-subsidized cabinets illegally being dumped on the U.S. market, cheating the very idea of fair trade.
Showplace has been aware of this threat for some years now. We have been tracking Chinese cabinet imports and have been compiling data that clearly shows the impact and the intent of this assault by Chinese cabinet producers.
The information collected by Showplace Cabinetry is an integral part of a case that has been filed with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance, a coalition of leading U.S. cabinet manufacturers and suppliers. These companies have banded together, recognized the threat of unfair and illegal actions and have hired legal counsel to ask the International Trade Commission to independently investigate the illegal dumping of Chinese cabinets on the U.S. marketplace and, once independently proven, to establish preventive long-term tariffs to neutralize illegal dumping.
As an industry, we support free trade—but it must be fair trade. This action by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance seeks to level the playing field so that the U.S. cabinet manufacturing industry can continue to exist economically. We are fighting to prevent our industry being gutted by unfair and illegal dumping by Chinese competition the way the American furniture industry was in the 1980s and 90s. At that time, dozens of U.S. furniture manufacturers closed—and hundreds of thousands of American jobs were lost. And now, U.S. cabinet manufacturers and their employees—along with thousands of jobs that support our industry—are being targeted.
Chinese companies have manipulated global production and through illegal trade practices are bringing cabinets into our country at prices below the U.S. cost of materials. These imports may represent as much as one-third of the cabinets sold in America. The American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance has presented empirical data to the ITC and the DOC proving injury to the U.S. cabinet manufacturing industry. Here at Showplace, we embrace competition and willingly compete with Canadian, European and other U.S. cabinet manufacturers in a free and fair marketplace, but our entire industry is being jeopardized by an unfair, government-subsidized Chinese product.
100% employee-owned Showplace is a classic example of the American cabinet industry. Cabinet companies like Showplace form the economic backbone of many communities across the country, providing job stability with good pay and benefits, very often in small rural communities throughout the heartland of America.
Showplace Cabinetry will not be bystanders at this critical time. We support the action of the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance and will continue to work for a fair and level playing field for U.S. cabinetry.
As an industry, we support free trade—but it must be fair trade.