Seven US mattress manufacturers (Brooklyn Bedding, Corsicana Mattress Co., Elite Comfort Solutions, FXI Inc., Innocor Inc., Kolcraft Enterprises Inc. and Leggett & Platt Inc.) and two labor unions that represent workers at US mattress producers (Teamsters and Steelworkers) today announced that they have filed seven antidumping duty (AD) petitions and one countervailing duty (CVD) petition charging that unfairly traded imports of finished mattresses from a total of eight countries are causing material injury to the US mattress industry.
The petitions were filed jointly with the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and the US International Trade Commission (ITC). The seven AD petitions allege the following dumping margins for each targeted country:
In addition, the petitioners have filed one CVD petition against mattresses imported from China.
According to the petitions, mattress imports from these countries have collectively surged by 32 percent from 2017 to 2019, swelling from 4.6 million to 6.1 million units.
As you will recall, a separate AD investigation involving mattresses from China concluded in November 2019. In that proceeding, the ITC unanimously found that mattress imports from China were materially injuring the US mattress industry and that those imports were being sold at dumping margins ranging from 57 to over 1700 percent.
In the case of the new petitions filed today, the ITC will consider the same issue in both the AD and CVD investigations: Is the US mattress industry materially injured by the subject imports?
At the DOC, however, the relevant issues will be different in the AD and CVD cases. In an AD case, the question is whether the imports were sold at dumped prices. If so, DOC will instruct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect antidumping duties in the amount of the dumping margins on future imports from the targeted countries. In the CVD case against China, the question is whether the foreign producers have received unfair subsidies. If so, DOC will instruct CBP to collect countervailing duties on future entries of these goods in an amount that offsets the value of those unfair subsidies. Since mattress imports from China are already subject to antidumping duties, the countervailing duties in general will be in addition to the antidumping duties currently being collected on mattresses imported from China. Under some circumstances, these duties can be collected retroactively, affecting imports that occurred even before the DOC makes its preliminary determinations.
It is not unusual for US industries to file AD and CVD petitions against multiple countries or to file new petitions after the successful conclusion of other trade cases (such as the recent mattress AD case against China). Broad and repeated actions like this are sometimes necessary to protect affected US industries from the contagion of material injury caused by unfairly traded imports.
As part of its injury investigation, the ITC will send questionnaires to all US producers of mattresses. The questionnaires will also be available on the ITC website. The ITC generally provides 14 days to respond to the questionnaire.
For ISPA members who have been injured by the influx of unfairly traded mattresses from the targeted countries, providing complete answers to these questionnaires will help the ITC perform its analysis. These investigations are conducted on a fast schedule. Therefore, in order that the ITC has time to consider your injury data properly, US producers should answer the ITC’s questionnaires and return them promptly to the ITC. The ITC has processes in place to protect the confidentiality of any sensitive data you might provide in response to these questionnaires.
Although most if not all ITC and DOC staff that will be assigned to these investigations are working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is our understanding at present that this situation will not affect the short statutory deadlines that both agencies have for issuing decisions and taking action. But that situation could change.
Please contact Ryan Trainer, [email protected], or Marie Clarke, [email protected], if you have questions regarding these developments.