In November of 2013, Congressman Peter Welch made an impassioned plea to save Vermont jobs in front of the International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. He did so on behalf of hundreds of Vermont loggers, truckers, and wood workers at Columbia Forest Products’ hardwood veneer plant in Newport, Vt.
In no nonsense “Vermont” fashion, Peter educated commissioners on the illegal tactics the Chinese government and the Chinese hardwood plywood manufacturing industry have employed to dump cheap, highly subsidized hardwood panels into the U.S. market since the early 2000s.
Unfortunately, the Trade commission did not vote in favor of the U.S. hardwood veneer and plywood industry at that time and the Chinese continued to dump highly subsidized hardwood veneered panels into the U.S.
Last November, a coalition of six U.S. plywood manufacturers, including Columbia Forest Products, refiled an Anti-Dumping, Counter Vailing duty suit against Chinese panel importers. The second time around, the commission voted in favor of U.S. manufacturers and slapped significant tariffs on the illegally traded panels from China.
Once again, Peter and his staff saddled up with U.S. manufacturers and were a strong voice in D.C. for their Vermont constituents. Politicians like to “talk the walk” regarding having the backs of U.S. workers quite liberally. Peter has “walked the talk” since 2013, standing up to China for Vermont workers, and he and his staff continue to be on the lookout for other unscrupulous Chinese trade activities.
On behalf of Columbia Forest Products employee owners in Newport, Vt. and our many trading partners in Vermont, a heartfelt thank you to Congressman Welch for making a meaningful difference for Vermont workers.
Written by Gary Gillespie, executive vice president, Columbia Forest Products.