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Wood Flooring and Hardwood Plywood: Competitive Conditions Affecting the U.S. Industries

Investigation No. 332-487
USITC Publication 4032

Summary

The U.S. wood flooring and hardwood plywood industries have faced increasing competition from imports in recent years, particularly from China, which has become its most significant competitor, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its most recent general factfinding investgation Wood Flooring and Hardwood Plywood: Competitive Conditions Affecting the U.S. Industries.

Prepared for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, the ITC report analyzes the U.S. wood flooring and hardwood plywood industries, providing an overview of the U.S. markets, describing the U.S. industries and those of principal supplier countries, and examining trade patterns and the factors affecting the competitive position of U.S. producers.

The ITC found that:

  • while the value of U.S. production, consumption, and trade of wood flooring and hardwood plywood increased significantly over the period studied (2002-2007), the value of U.S. imports of these products doubled during the same period, and the importsí share of the U.S. markets rose from about one-third to one-half;
  • U.S. wood flooring consumption grew rapidly over the period studied, driven by strong demand from residential construction and remodeling and rising consumer preference for wood flooring relative to other types of flooring;
  • U.S. imports increased faster than U.S. production as shifting preferences for prefinished flooring, exotic species, and engineered wood flooring benefitted imports more than domestic production;
  • combined global trade of wood flooring and hardwood plywood increased by 80 percent with the United States and the top foreign suppliers (Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Russia) accounting for more than three-fourths of global exports;
  • the declining U.S. dollar had uneven effects on the currencies of the major foreign suppliers to the U.S. market, with Malaysia and China having a definite advantage over other countries; and
  • illegal logging contributed to increased production and consumption of these products.

View the publication at: http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4032.pdf