Anti-dumping Probe Opened on Unfairly Priced Chinese-made Mattresses
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Commerce have opened a probe into foam and innerspring mattresses imports from China based on a petition filed by several US manufacturers and sellers of sleeping products.
The charge filed by the petitioners alleges that unfair pricing and dumping of Chinese manufactured mattresses in US markets is harming the US mattress industry.
Unfair pricing margins which start from 267% and extend to more than 1,777% have led to the US mattress industry reeling under material injury and threat of material injury.
Signatories to the petition include several US manufacturers as well as privately held companies including Leggett & Platt Inc. and Tempur Sealy International Inc. as well as Elite Comfort Solutions, and Serta Simmons Bedding LLC among others.
The market for Chinese made mattresses, which includes memory foam mattresses has gone up significantly due to the low pricing strategy adopted by Chinese manufacturers. As per official figures on US imports, Chinese made mattress imports have gone up exponentially from 2015 to 2017 to the tune of 218% and the rise continues even in 2018.
On the other hand, US shipments have seen a year-over-year drop which has resulted in US sellers suffering from decreasing market share and loss in profit margins.
The dual blow of diminishing market share and decreasing shipments has placed the US mattress industry under a lot of stress and pressure as they are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the dumped prices.
All of these factors are proving to be extremely favorable to Chinese exporters who stand to make profits even when pricing of adult mattresses is fixed at $18.
US Mattress Manufacturers
The blatant undercutting of prices is not only impacting the market share of US mattress manufacturers, but it is also steadily eating away at the job industry since the industry employees thousands of workers across every state as well as in markets across the globe.
Furthermore, the damage to the industry from investment and marketing loss, as well as in sales and profit margins is proving to be an added challenge.
The petitioners while listing the above factors for the investigation, have asked for the imposition of antidumping duties on Chinese made mattresses as a way to balance and level out the market playing field.
In their bid to provide better quality sleep for domestic and international customers, US mattress manufacturers invest heavily in research and marketing, as well as in developing technology. Due to the low dumping prices, the dollar value of these investments is being hit. As a result, future growth and reinvestment into the market is also getting impacted.
In light of these allegations, the petition from the US mattress industry is seeking appropriate relief to US sellers as mandated under US laws.
The investigations which have commenced might take anywhere between 9-13 months to conclude.
Based on the initial decisions and announcements from the ITC and department of commerce which is scheduled to happen on November 2nd and February 27th respectively, the imposition of antidumping duty could happen within 6 months approximately.