U.S. slaps big tariff on exporters of bedroom furniture from China

More economic news that may help my hometown of Martinsvillve, VA.

washington—The U.S. commerce department slapped tariffs of as much as 198 per cent on imported bedroom furniture from China yesterday, a decision that could cut the $1 billion (U.S.) a year of imports and raise prices for consumers.

Most of the largest exporters of furniture will pay tariffs of 24 per cent or less, with 82 of the companies paying an 11 per cent tariff, the commerce department said in a statement.

The thousands of companies not singled out will pay the 198 per cent, and they “are going to be put out of business,” Mike Veitenheimer, a vice president for furniture retailer Bombay Co., said in an interview. Still, “the duties could have been a whole lot worse,” he said.

The case is the largest trade dispute of its kind between the United States and China, and could spark a new round of complaints by manufacturers who say business has been hurt by cheap imports from China. Bassett Furniture Industries Inc., Stanley Furniture Co. and other U.S. producers support tariffs, arguing Chinese companies are selling their products at unfair discounts, and the preliminary decision backed up their claim.

…Bedroom furniture imports from China increased 121 per cent from 2000 to 2002, and another 54 per cent in the first six months of last year. Furniture makers, such as Bassett, Stanley and Hooker Furniture Corp., say that increase threatens to put them out of business.

Link TheStar.com