"The end result is that American consumers are
forced to pay a new tax on bedroom furniture. This isn't how
our trade laws should work"
Michael Veitenheimer,VP and General Counsel,
The Bombay Company
of America (FRA) criticized today's decision by the
International Trade Commission
(ITC) that imports of Chinese wooden bedroom furniture have caused injury to
domestic furniture producers, calling the decision "unwarranted" and "an
unnecessary tax on American consumers."
ITC Commissioners made an affirmative determination in its final phase
antidumping investigation concerning Wooden Bedroom Furniture from China, that
imports had caused injury to the domestic industry during the period
Final margins announced in November by the Department of Commerce will remain in
place: mandatory respondent rates range from 2.2 percent to 16.7 percent, the
"Section A" rate (applicable to 115 Chinese companies, on approximately 65
percent of imported goods) is 8.64 percent, and the country- wide rate (which
applies to only a small percentage of imports) is 198 percent.
"The ITC's decision was simply wrong on the facts," said Michael Veitenheimer,
spokesperson for the FRA and also the Vice President and General Counsel of The
Bombay Company. "The dumping margins found by Commerce were so low, that it is
inconceivable how the Commission could determine that Chinese pricing caused the
domestic industry's problems. It is a frustrating decision for U.S. retailers
and importers who strive to provide their customers with affordable, quality
bedroom furniture for their homes.
"There is absolutely no benefit from this decision. This action will not bring
any jobs back to the United States, nor protect those that are still here. The
ITC chose to ignore this information and rule in favor of the same petitioners
who are already major importers and continue aggressively moving their
production to Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries.
"The end result is that American consumers are forced to pay a new tax on
bedroom furniture. This isn't how our trade laws should work."
He further explained that the worst part of the decision was that the
petitioners stand to rake in millions through the Continued Dumping and Subsidy
Offset Act (CDSOA), widely known as the "Byrd Amendment," which mandates
distribution of antidumping and countervailing duties to companies that support
petitions to the U.S. Government for trade protection, rather than to the U.S.
Treasury, where other duties are sent. This practice was recently declared
impermissible by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
He continued, "We conservatively estimate, based on 2003 import volume, that the
first payouts will be in excess of $100 million or an average of roughly $4
million for each of the 26 petitioners. The sad part is that the payments are
coming from the pockets of American retailers and consumers through a new
bedroom furniture tax."
"Importers and retailers of all sizes, from all across the U.S. came together to
form the FRA. We are proud that our efforts have helped bring about
significantly lower rates than the preposterous rates the petitioners requested.
But the battle isn't over. FRA will continue to fight on behalf of the American
consumer for fair trade practices."
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