AMTAC Washington Coordinator
"Between their labor pool, industrial capacity, and growth
in exports to the United States, China has the ability to
consume most of the U.S. market if left unrestrained"
The American Manufacturing Trade
Action Coalition (AMTAC) recently briefed the House
Furnishings Caucus on its furniture legislative agenda.
AMTAC Washington Coordinator Auggie Tantillo said,
"Job-destroying furniture imports are skyrocketing. The trade
deficit in furniture and bedding was $21 billion in 2002 and is
already up 23% for 2003. Nearly 100,000 furniture jobs have been
destroyed since January 2001, a loss of 14.8 percent."
"The sad part is that this is just the beginning. Major U.S.
furniture manufacturers have recently announced aggressive
business plans to outsource manufacturing operations to Asian
countries, including China. Until recently, U.S.-made furniture
products were thought to be invulnerable to competition from
foreign imports in the U.S. market. Now, it is clear that
U.S.-made furniture products are in serious jeopardy of losing a
great deal of domestic market share in the near future. Dozens
of companies will be destroyed and tens of thousands of jobs
will be lost unless major policy changes are made soon,"
AMTAC made several policy recommendations to the Furnishings
Caucus. To better highlight U.S.-made products, AMTAC proposed
revising country-of-origin labeling laws so that the label would
be on the furniture product itself. Current law allows for the
placement of country-of-origin labeling on furniture packaging,
making it difficult for consumers to identify the country of
origin of unpackaged furniture displayed for sale on U.S.
To slow the unprecedented surge of highly damaging Chinese
furniture imports, AMTAC encouraged the Furnishings Caucus to
demand that the Administration invoke the general China
safeguard. The safeguard would temporarily place strict quota
limits on Chinese furniture imports.
The trade deficit in furniture and bedding with China alone
jumped from $7.4 billion in 2001 to $9.84 billion in 2002 - an
increase of 33%. Said Tantillo, "Between their labor pool,
industrial capacity, and growth in exports to the United States,
China has the ability to consume most of the U.S. market if left
On other trade issues, AMTAC urged the Furnishings Caucus to
efforts to eliminate U.S. tariffs on imported furniture products
in the ongoing Doha Round of
negotiations and to reject any free trade agreements, such as
the Singapore FTA, that encourage outsourcing over domestic
In the domestic arena, AMTAC asked the Furnishings Caucus to
work to expand the U.S. government's "Buy American" provisions
to include furniture.
"If the U.S. government refuses to check the onslaught of
imported Chinese furniture products, U.S. furniture
manufacturing sector rapidly will be destroyed within the next
few years. A united Furnishings Caucus acting upon AMTAC's
legislative proposals would go a long way toward boosting the
health of an embattled industry," concluded Tantillo.
View AMTAC's Power Point Presentation
RTO Online is the official channel for Rent-to-Own Industry News and the
only independent source of news for the rent-to-own, rental-purchase,
lease-purchase trade. RTO Online (Rent to Own Online) represents the choice
of the entire RTO Industry for trusted information, as it happens.
Tell us what you think
Rate the article at the top of this page