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441% Antidumping Duties Requested for
Wooden Bedroom Furniture from China

November 11, 2003

On October 31, 2003, a coalition of U.S. manufacturers filed a petition requesting that up to 441% antidumping duties be applied to U.S. imports of wooden bedroom furniture from China, which may amount for $2-3 Billion in annual imports. The International Trade Commission has accordingly opened a preliminary antidumping investigation to determine whether there is injury or the likelihood of injury to the U.S. industry, and the ITA will open an investigation to determine whether there are sales at less than fair value at the alleged percentages or other amounts.

What Products Are Within the Scope Of The Petition?

Covered products are defined in the petition as wooden bedroom furniture, which is generally designed, manufactured, and offered for sale in coordinated groups or suites. Such products are made substantially of wood (including both solid wood and also engineered wood products made from wood particles, fibers, or other wooden materials such as plywood, etc.). While coverage is defined solely by the narrative text, the products within the petition's coverage are generally expected to fall within subheadings 9403.50.9040 and 9403.50.9080 of the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTSUS).

Excluded are many products such as seating furniture (seats, sofas, sofa beds), mattresses, office furniture, dining room and kitchen furniture, wall systems, and bedroom furniture, made primarily of wicker, cane, bamboo, etc.

Requirements To Post A Bond Or Cash Deposit Of Additional Dumping Duties

Once a determination is made by the ITA to proceed with their investigation, Customs and Border Protection will require that a bond be posted for the deposit of estimated dumping duties. Hence, the potential percentage of dumping duties can significantly affect the importation of furniture within the scope.

What Can Importers And Manufacturers Do To Protect Their Rights?

Importers of Chinese wooden bedroom furniture should protect their legal rights by immediately seeking experienced trade counsel to determine the procedures by which products may either be excluded from the scope of this petition or to minimize the potential antidumping duty impact.

Commerce will likely go through a respondent sampling process, but even an "unselected" small company could be seriously impacted (positively or negatively) based on whether or not the company "shows up" for the selection process. A manufacturer or seller who fails to participate in these proceedings may find that its products are subject to higher antidumping rates than the rates set on products of competitors who do participate in the U.S. legal process. Thus, Chinese manufacturers should be represented in these proceedings. Additionally, Chinese manufacturers should be educated to the potential impact of an adverse determination and the procedures to be followed.

For additional information regarding these procedures, consult our web site under the topic of antidumping.

Our firm has substantial favorable experience with regard to the antidumping order on Chinese products. As an example, we represented an exporter of porcelain-on-steel-cookware from China, and assisted the exporter in answering Commerce's questionnaire in an annual review. As a result of our efforts, Commerce reduced the company's AD duties from 66.23% to zero. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, as there are many strategies for minimizing final duty obligations.

Please contact Stephen Spraitzar at (415) 288-0427 or if you have additional questions.

Stephen Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco. The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered such.

Copyright 2005 by Tuttle Law Offices.

All rights reserved. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.


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