Commerce Department Imposed Duties on Chinese Furniture

The U.S. Commerce Department on June 18 imposed preliminary antidumping duties of up to 200% on $1.2 billion of wooden bedroom furniture imported from China. The duties could force American catalogers and retailers of such furniture to raise their prices.

The Bush administration’s action follows charges by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry that it has not aggressively enforced U.S. trade laws, especially against China, to keep jobs from moving overseas, according to a Reuters report.

A coalition of U.S. furniture makers and labor unions had asked for duties of up to 441% to offset alleged “dumping” by their Chinese rivals. “We preliminarily find that producers/exporters have sold wooden bedroom furniture from China in the U.S. market at less than fair value,” said a statement from the Commerce Department, “with margins ranging from 4.9% to 198.08%.”

For more on the tariffs, see “China Tariff Could Hit Mailers in the Bedroom” in the June issue of CATALOG AGE.