"We see the reduced rates as positive news,
and a very clear indication from Commerce that the domestic
industry's problems are not the result of Chinese imports"
Mike Veitenheimer, FRA spokesperson and Vice
President and Counsel of The Bombay Company
Furniture Retailers of America (FRA) today said that the reduced final duty
margins announced by the Department of Commerce on Chinese wooden bedroom
furniture imports are further proof that Chinese pricing is not causing the
injury claimed by the domestic manufacturers. As the duties were announced, FRA
members were testifying on the case at the International Trade Commission (ITC)
and were optimistic that the ITC would reject duties altogether.
The Department of Commerce announced final margins on imports of bedroom
furniture from China for mandatory respondents ranging from 2.2 percent to 16.7
percent. The "Section A" rate -- the rate applicable to 106 Chinese companies,
on approximately 50 percent of imported goods -- decreased from 12.91 percent to
8.64 percent. The country-wide rate remained at 198%. The revised rates become
effective on the day of publication in the Federal Register, or in approximately
"We see the reduced rates as positive news, and a very clear indication from
Commerce that the domestic industry's problems are not the result of Chinese
imports," said Mike Veitenheimer, FRA spokesperson and Vice President and
Counsel of The Bombay Company. "Commerce did a full investigation on the case
and in the end, reduced rates even further from their preliminary decision -- a
rate nowhere near what the petitioners had originally requested.
"Despite their rhetoric, not a single job has been moved back to the U.S. as a
result of this petition. In fact, some of the petitioners have been among the
biggest importers from China and are moving their production to Vietnam,
Malaysia and other countries. They only filed this case when U.S. retailers
began dealing directly with the Chinese factories, thus eliminating the
petitioners' role as middlemen. There was nothing wrong with Chinese pricing
when they controlled the flow of goods. Now that they are being by- passed,
petitioners claimed the pricing was 'dumping.' We believe this dumping claim
will soon be shown at the ITC to be completely unfounded."
He continued, "For nearly a year, FRA members successfully organized and
actively fought to have the tax reduced or eliminated. We fought for the ability
to compete in the global marketplace so that our customers can afford quality
bedroom furniture. This is a battle we will continue to fight."
On December 22nd, the ITC is set to make a final determination on whether or not
dumping has caused the injury claimed by the domestic manufacturers. If the ITC
finds affirmatively, the margins announced by Commerce remain in place. With a
negative finding, margins will be eliminated.
In conjunction with the final determination, a number of FRA members testified
today before the ITC. Company executives from major U.S. retailing businesses,
including Rooms To Go, Havertys, and JCPenney, and others told the panel of how
wooden bedroom imports -- based on quality, style and price -- have actually
expanded the furniture market, and also discussed how the trade petition will
not bring back any U.S. jobs, as petitioners have suggested. Furniture Brands
International (FBI), one of the largest domestic furniture producers, also
testified against the petition.
Copies of the DOC fact sheet on the final decision will be available at
http://www.ita.doc.gov/media , or by calling the Office of Public Affairs at
The Furniture Retailers of America (FRA) is comprised of large and small retail
companies throughout the U.S. FRA now represents well over 4,000 retail outlets
and 300,000 associates/employees nationwide.
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