China Uses Vietnam to Sidestep Furniture Tariffs

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 03:07 PM

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In an effort to protect U.S. manufacturers from the practice of dumping, the Commerce Department hit Chinese makers of bedroom furniture with import tariffs in 2005. Instead of slowing down the import of artificially low-priced beds and night stands, the move actually increased them, The Washington Post reports.

Woodworth Wooden Industries in southern China used to ship 400 containers of bedroom furniture monthly to the United States, but now sends just 60.

However, the company, along with others, moved parts of its operations to Vietnam to avoid the tariffs. As a result, imported bedroom furniture accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. market, up from 58 percent before the tariff.

While China exported $691 million in bedroom furniture to the United States last year, down from $1.2 billion in 2004, exports of the same goods from Vietnam have gone from $151 million to $931 million.

The number of Americans making furniture in America is now less than half of what it was before the tariffs.




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