"Companies such as Stickley's that are
setting up plants outside of the U.S. to be, so-called
'globally minded,' while at the same time claiming that the
petition they filed against China will 'save American jobs,'
are not fooling anyone"
Mike Veitenheimer Vice President and Counsel
of The Bombay Company
Furniture Retailers of America (FRA) today
called the announcement by
L. & J.G. Stickley Inc. -- one of 26
domestic furniture manufacturers that filed an antidumping
petition to cut off access to Chinese wooden bedroom furniture
imports -- to open a furniture plant in Vietnam yet more
evidence that the trade case is not about 'saving jobs' but
"Stickley's announcement of its new furniture
factory in Vietnam, which will begin producing furniture lines
next year, is just one example confirming how absolutely
baseless the petitioners claims are to protect and return jobs
to the U.S. through the antidumping petition, when these same
domestic manufacturers have already moved their imports from
China to other countries such as Vietnam, Brazil, Chile and
Indonesia," said Mike Veitenheimer, FRA spokesperson and Vice
President and Counsel of The Bombay Company.
"Companies such as Stickley's that are setting
up plants outside of the U.S. to be, so-called 'globally
minded,' while at the same time claiming that the petition they
filed against China will 'save American jobs,' are not fooling
anyone. If the petitioners win, no jobs will be saved, but U.S.
retailer jobs will be lost. The short term price disruptions and
product shortages are almost certain to adversely affect sales
of bedroom furniture leading to job losses for retail company
employees. This has to be stopped. It's hypocritical, and
benefits no one but the group of petitioners," he said.
Members of FRA include both national and small
retail companies throughout the U.S., such as Rooms To Go,
JCPenney's, Havertys, Crate & Barrel, The Bombay Company, City
Furniture and Rhodes Furniture, among others. In a span of a few
months, FRA has rapidly grown in membership because of the need
to protect retail customers from possible restrictions on
affordable high quality wooden bedroom furniture and the threat
of short-term price volatility should duties, as high as 440%,
be enacted by the ITC. FRA now represents well over 3,500 retail
outlets and 200,000 associates/employees nationwide.
"Stickley's announcement comes as no surprise,
as we know that some petitioners have been scrambling to move
their importing systems to Vietnam and other countries should
the duties that they asked for be imposed against China," said
William Silverman, FRA Counsel and an attorney with Hunton &
Williams. "Domestic manufacturers helped create the Chinese
bedroom furniture industry years ago and now they are seeking
duties only because many of them no longer serve as middlemen
earning spreads of up to 40% on sales to U.S. retailers."
In testimony before the ITC in January,
retailers, importers and trade experts testified that Chinese
bedroom furniture imports have benefited domestic furniture
manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Products from China have
brought purchasers into the market by offering a broader range
of furniture styles at affordable prices, and domestic furniture
producers have themselves adopted blended production strategies
(using both domestically produced and Chinese-made furniture in
bedroom suites) to maximize profits.
On April 22nd, more than 300 retailers and
importers attended a FRA briefing during the International
Furniture Market in High Point, NC held to discuss the impact of
the trade case on retailers, importers and customers. Full-page
ads were taken out in trade magazines asking, "How Big Is Your
Duty?" and stressing that beginning on June 17th, the day of the
Department of Commerce's preliminary decision, retailers'
bedrooms could be subject to huge import duties.
"The 300 enthusiastic retailers and importers in
High Point committed themselves to the need to defeat this
petition before bedrooms are subject to a variety of massive
duties and our customers are affected," said Veitenheimer. "FRA
will continue to vigorously fight for our millions of customers
across the U.S. and for our thousands of hard-working employees.
Consumers should not have to pay higher prices for wooden
bedroom furniture and retail associates should not lose their
jobs because of the greed of a few companies' and their refusal
to compete in the international market."
The Furniture Retailers of America (FRA) is
comprised of large and small retail companies throughout the
U.S. formed to protect its customers from a group of domestic
furniture manufacturers seeking to restrict consumer access to
high quality wooden bedroom furniture by filing an anti-dumping
petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission.
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