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    Antidumping duties on Chinese mattresses expected in May

    Time:2019-03-18 15:26:10    Share:

    Preliminary antidumping duties on Chinese mattresses are expected to be announced in late May, sources say.

    The recent government shutdown extended the antidumping duties timeline by about 40 days, according to industry observers.

    The U.S. Commerce Department’s preliminary determination on duties is currently due the week of April 8, but the department usually extends the deadline in cases like this, according to a member of the group of domestic bedding producers seeking the antidumping duties. That member said that with an extension of the deadline, the Commerce Department could issue a preliminary duty determination in late May.

    Industry analysts say they are expecting duties of at least 150% or higher, a rate that is expected to significantly slow what has been a flood of low-priced mattress imports from China.

    Imported mattresses, most from China, increased 20.6% in customs value from January to November 2018, while the imported mattress units jumped 23.7%, according to the latest Bedding Market Quarterly published by the International Sleep Products Assn.

    Once the preliminary duties are announced, Chinese mattress importers could be subject to retroactive duties covering shipments in the 90 days prior to the determination of the preliminary duties.

    If the preliminary duties are announced on May 27, that 90-day “look back” period would have started Feb. 26, sources say.

    The coalition member said it appears that there has been a rush of products being shipped into the U.S. from China over the past few months to avoid duties. If that is proven to be the case, the coalition of producers may have the option to file for “critical circumstances” 20 days prior to the preliminary duties, or by May 6.

    If successful, this would mean an importer of record runs the risk of facing retroactive duty liability for mattress imports 90 days before the preliminary determination, a member of the coalition said.

    “Many retailers and brokers of these products are likely not aware of the possibility of this occurring,” the coalition member said.

    The coalition, comprised of several leading U.S. bedding producers, contends that Chinese mattresses are being unfairly traded in the U.S. market.

    Last fall, the U.S. International Trade Commission found a reasonable indication that unfairly traded imports of mattresses from China have caused material injury to the U.S. mattress industry. That moved the process to the next phase: a preliminary determination of the antidumping duties.

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