Brown Urges Trade Commission to Side with American Workers in Antidumping Investigation into Mattresses Imported from China

Senator is Urging Trade Commission to Move Forward with Final Determination that Favors American-Made Products; Mattress Manufacturing Facilities Employ More than 250 Ohioans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is urging the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to side with American workers in its antidumping investigation into mattresses imported from China. In a bipartisan letter to ITC Chairman David S. Johanson, Brown led his colleagues in pressing ITC to finalize its preliminary decision to side with U.S. mattress manufacturers and workers. Brown led this letter with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), and the letter was signed by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Richard Burr (R-NC), Roger Wicker (R-WS), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Todd Young (R-IN), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

More than 12,000 American workers are employed in mattress manufacturing across the country, including 173 workers employed at the Tempur Sealy International plant in Medina and 79 Ohio workers at the North Ridgeville Leggett and Platt facility. Tempur Sealy and Leggett and Platt are two of nine petitioners in the Chinese steel dumping case. 

“Since the preliminary determination was issued, imports of unfairly dumped mattresses from China have dropped.  As a result, some domestic manufacturers have been able to bring shuttered capacity back online and to hire new employees.  Despite this preliminary relief, however, U.S. producers are still operating at lower levels than in 2016, when the subject imports began to appear in increasing quantities. A final affirmative determination from the Commission will ensure the preliminary relief is continued and is necessary for the domestic industry to recover more fully from the dumped imports,” wrote the Senators.  

In recent years, the petitioning companies, and other U.S. manufacturers have found themselves at a severe competitive disadvantage due to Chinese imports being sold at less than fair market value, in violation of U.S. trade laws. The dumping of Chinese mattresses has also had adverse effects on companies that supply production materials to mattress manufacturers.

In November, the ITC released a preliminary determination in favor of domestic industry and for the preliminary duties that have been applied to mattress imports. Brown is urging ITC to finalize that decision in order to ensure fair trade laws are enforced, and domestic workers can get the relief they need.

A copy of Brown’s letter can be found below and HERE. 

September 27, 2019

The Honorable David S. Johanson

Chairman

U.S. International Trade Commission

500 E Street, SW

Washington, DC 20436

Re:  Investigation #731-TA-1424

Dear Chairman Johanson:

We are writing to respectfully request your careful and thorough examination of the facts and evidence pertaining to the antidumping investigation of mattresses imported from China. 

The nine petitioners in this investigation, Corsicana Mattress, Elite Comfort Solutions, Future Foam, FXI, Innocor, Kolcraft, Leggett & Platt, Serta Simmons Bedding, and Tempur Sealy International, have been manufacturing mattresses in the United States for more than 100 years.  Around the country, more than 12,000 workers are employed in mattress manufacturing. Only in recent years have the petitioning companies, and other U.S. manufacturers, found themselves at a severe competitive disadvantage due to Chinese imports being sold at less than fair market value in violation of U.S. trade laws.  Moreover, because the majority of mattress manufacturing inputs – including textiles, foam, and innersprings -- are also produced in the United States, the dumping of Chinese mattresses inflicts adverse consequences on additional domestic industries. 

We are grateful for the Commission’s November 1, 2018 preliminary determination in favor of the domestic industry and for the preliminary duties that have been applied to the subject imports.  These rates currently range from 69.30 – 1,731.75 percent.  In addition, given the surge in imports that followed the filing of the petition, the imposition of critical circumstances will be crucial to providing full relief to domestic producers.  We were pleased the Department of Commerce determined there were critical circumstances in this case, and we are hopeful the Commission will reach the same conclusion in its final determination. 

Since the preliminary determination was issued, imports of unfairly dumped mattresses from China have dropped.  As a result, some domestic manufacturers have been able to bring shuttered capacity back online and to hire new employees.  Despite this preliminary relief, however, U.S. producers are still operating at lower levels than in 2016, when the subject imports began to appear in increasing quantities. A final affirmative determination from the Commission will ensure the preliminary relief is continued and is necessary for the domestic industry to recover more fully from the dumped imports.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your efforts to ensure that our trade laws are fairly and objectively implemented.

Sincere regards,

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