USTR Approves Duty-Free Treatment for Lauan Plywood

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On Monday, the RV industry praised the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) decision to grant duty-free treatment for lauan and meranti plywood from Indonesia. USTR quietly released the results of its 2019 GSP Annual Product Review on Friday evening, approving the RV Industry Association’s petition to add this product back to the GSP program.

This result comes after months of RV Industry Association efforts to ensure the administration understood the importance of this issue to the industry and our members.

This decision will save the RV industry $1 million a month in duties by re-designating lauan and meranti plywood less than 6 millimeters in thickness from Indonesia as eligible for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

Lauan plywood from Indonesia has faced an 8 percent duty since 2016, when it was removed from the GSP program following the 2015 review. In July, RVIA’s Samantha Rocci, Chad Reece of Winnebago Industries, Scott Warren of Patrick Industries, and Dan Neumann of Sorini Samet and Associates testified before the ITC and USTR’s GSP Subcommittee in support of the petition. 

“This decision is a tremendous victory for the RV industry, saving our member companies money on duties for a product that is not, and has never been, available in the U.S. This is money that can be used to create jobs, update and construct new facilities, and innovate,” said Manager of Government and Political Affairs Rocci. “USTR and the Trump administration made the right call here and this decision will help this all-American industry continue to grow and thrive without unnecessary costs.”

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski today issued a news release applauding the decision, which she was instrumental in championing. In 2018, she worked with RVIA to introduce the Competitive Need Limitations Modernization Act to fix two issues in the GSP program. 

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