Let’s see how this third round of antidumping petitions plays out | Sheila Long O’Mara

The bedding category is now in its third round of antidumping actions following a July filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce.

Ten domestic bedding manufacturers and foam producers have teamed up with two labor unions asking the government to investigate unfairly traded imports from 13 countries that have impacted the U.S. mattress industry.

The International Trade Commission recently voted to move forward with the investigation into mattress imports from the 13 countries, as well as a countervailing duty on mattresses imported from Indonesia. The Department of Commerce will continue looking into imported mattress from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burma, India, Italy, Kosovo, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Taiwan.

If this round follows the previous two antidumping petitions — one from 2018 involving mattress imported from China and the other from 2021 with mattress imported from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam — the industry will see a significant drop off in the number of mattress imports.

The companies that have filed the latest petition — Brooklyn Bedding, Carpenter Co., Corsicana Mattress Co., Future Foam, FXI, Kolcraft Enterprises, Leggett & Platt, Serta Simmons Bedding, Southerland and Tempur Sealy International — say companies from China and prior countries are moving manufacturing locations to avoid tariffs from the prior actions.

In 2019, following the first petition against China, the hefty anti-dumping duties handed down, and significant tariffs on Chinese imports by former President Trump, mattress imports dropped from 87% share of the import mattress market to 2% in a five-month span. From the 2021 action, antidumping margins ranged from a low of 2.22% to a high of 763.28% and caused imports from those seven countries to dry up dramatically.

The most recent petition will likely have the same impact on mattresses coming in from the 13 cited countries. Until the investigation is completed, mattress importers in those countries will be looking for solutions and providing the necessary information to the government.

The timeline is relatively short. The petition was filed at the end of July — timed with the opening of the summer Las Vegas Market — and the International Trade Commission has made its recommendation. From here, we can expect the preliminary countervailing duty determination on mattresses imported from Indonesia “on or about Oct. 23,” just after the close of the fall High Point Market. The preliminary antidumping duty determinations for the mattresses from the 13 countries are due “on or about Jan. 4.”

For some, that could be a detrimental blow going into the new year.

I’m not typically into making predictions on how the Commerce Department is likely to land; however, it has shown us its hand before in these types of cases. And, the law firm working with the 10 industry companies in the latest case has been on the scene before, too.

The scenario feels quite familiar. Now, we wait for a month or so to see how it plays out.

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