From Home Furnishing Business
AMA Releases New Statement Against Antidumping Petition
2020 by Laurie Northington in Business Strategy, Industry
Due to a misrepresentation of data, the American Mattress Alliance (AMA) has released a new statement regarding the antidumping petition filed on March 31 against Vietnam, Thailand, Serbia, Turkey, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Petitioners have used statistics that cite a 52,000 percent increase in imports as proof that dumping is occurring. However, aggregate mattress imports from all countries listed in the petition have increased by only 2.5 percent from 2018 to 2019—which AMA members attribute to a growing economy and the rise of online mattress shopping.
This misrepresentation of data led the AMA to release their newest statement , which addresses similar tactics used in the petition.
The three specific areas of the petition the AMA is most concerned with are the petitioners’ role in providing the data used throughout the trial, the “apples to apples” comparison, and the damage done to importers before the trial is even in motion.
In any International Trade Commission (ITC) tribunal, the petitioners provide all the data in an “Injury Narrative.” The ITC relies on the petitioners to act as industry experts and include objective data. Much of the data the petitioners provide is confidential, and the American companies who will be affected have no access to it.
“We’ve read every available page of this petition. And we firmly believe that the data the petitioners provided is misleading,” said Steve Douglas, vice president of operations for Maven. “And that’s just the data we have access to. They have abused this government process to hurt their competition.”
Another tenant of any antidumping case is an “apples to apples” comparison, where products that are exactly alike are assessed to determine if dumping is occurring. Since the items under review by the ITC are often simple commodity products, like sugar or steel, this comparison is usually easy—but it’s much more difficult with complex products like a mattress. Petitioners use heavily redacted data to reach assumed “constructed costs,” or how much they claim it should cost to make a mattress in one of the affected countries. The claimed costs are as high as $1,124 dollars for a standard 12-inch Queen mattress.
David Smith, CEO of Mattress Depot USA and newest AMA member, said, “The constructed costs that these petitioners are claiming are absolutely unrealistic. Anyone who has ordered mattresses from major domestic suppliers would know that they are inflating the prices that they presented to the ITC.” The International Sleep Products Association, of which many of the petitioners are members, cite the average wholesale price of a queen mattress at $305 dollars.
Finally, the AMA argues that simply by filing this case, petitioners damage their competition. Since 2004, an estimated three out of 600 ITC hearings were stopped before the preliminary trial—which worries importers in this case as “critical circumstances” have been requested by the petitioners. Critical circumstances retroactively add duties up to 1,008 percent to mattress imports and could take effect as soon as June 13. If companies continue to import mattresses during the trial, they could face tens of millions in duties when the case concludes.
“The reason the mattress companies—Brooklyn Bedding, Corsicana Mattresses, Elite Comfort Solutions, FXI Inc., Kolcraft Enterprises Inc., Leggett & Platt Incorporated and others—want outrageous duties put on these mattresses is so they can limit the competition. They want to make big mark ups and gouge U.S. customers by charging too much for a mattress. Free trade makes the world better. Give customers better prices and raise the standard of living for people around the world,” said Jake Jabs, president and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse.
In the midst of preparing for the pre-trial hearing on April 21, AMA members are continuing to fill thousands of orders for beds as pop-up hospitals and care centers emerge as the virus spreads to new areas.
AMA Chair of Communications Bryce Larsen said, “The members of the AMA want to use our ready-to-ship mattresses and our distribution centers to help in this crisis. Our business models rely on speed, deep inventories, and ultra-fast shipping. Those impacted by the petition have millions of beds in inventory, and we’re ready to help.”
Along with the statement, the AMA released the first of a three-part video series explaining the intricacies of the antidumping process. To join the AMA, contact us at email@example.com.