WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Thousands of American jobs could be at risk when it comes to kitchen cabinets.
The Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. (Source: MGN)
The American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance filed one of the largest suits against China in March due to what they call unfair trade practices. Representatives from the AKCA spoke in Washington Wednesday alongside Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D) to voice their need for support from the government.
The AKCA formed earlier this year specifically to combat the threat of Chinese trade on the industry.
“I was one of the very first, if not the founding member of the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance because I said it was just an injustice done to the American furniture worker that their executives didn’t stand up early, figure it out and save those jobs,” said Mark Trexler, the President and CEO of Master WoodCraft Cabinetry based in Marshall, Texas. “So I’d always said to myself, when this happens to our industry, because they go after wood products, we’ve got to do the right thing. And the right thing is to protect the jobs of these 250 thousand people.”
The AKCA says China’s cabinets sell for significantly less due to subsidies and lower material costs than American companies. These sales practices threaten an industry in the United States that is worth roughly $10 billion and 250,000 jobs. The group hopes the suit will result in an anti-dumping charge on China to force them to stop selling the products at prices too low for the American market. They believe this could help level the playing field in the industry as well as save American jobs.
“Every single job in South Dakota counts,” Sen. Rounds said, speaking about the industry within his state. “And once again, we have jobs in South Dakota in which people are making kitchen cabinets in multiple businesses within our state. We want them to have a fair trading opportunity. That’s what we’re asking for, a chance to compete. American producers, South Dakota producers can compete with anyone in the world. If it’s a fair fight.”