US mattress producers seek new investigation into alleged antidumping, foreign subsidies

A group of U.S. mattress manufacturers has filed a third round of antidumping and countervailing duty petitions on several countries they allege are producing mattresses below fair market value and that are subsidized by the governments of countries where they are produced.

The petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce on July 28 by Brooklyn Bedding, Carpenter Co., Corsicana Mattress Co., Future Foam Inc., FXI Inc., Kolcraft Enterprises, Leggett & Platt, Serta Simmons Bedding, Southerland and Tempur Sealy International. Other petitioners named in the filing are the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO.

The countervailing duty petition seeks an investigation into mattress imports from the Republic of Indonesia, and the antidumping petition seeks an investigation into mattress imports from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Union of Burma, the Republic of India, the Republic of Italy, the Republic of Kosovo, the United States of Mexico, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia, the Kingdom of Spain and Taiwan.

“The U.S. mattress industry is being materially injured and threatened with further material injury by reason of the identified imports,” the petition states. “Subject imports represent a third wave of mattresses that ‘country hopped’ first from China to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam and now to the current export platforms covered by these petitions.”

The petition notes that in the first proceeding, the U.S. Department of Commerce calculated dumping margins ranging from 57.03% to 1,731.75% on mattresses imported from China. It noted that the U.S. International Trade Commission unanimously determined that the domestic industry was materially injured due to those “dumped” imports.

In the second round of petitions and investigations, the ITC determined that Chinese mattress imports declined and were supplanted by subject imports from other country sources. “Indeed, many of the same Chinese-based firms that had supplied the U.S. market from production facilities in China began to export mattresses to the United States from related production facilities in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. In both proceedings, the imports subject to investigation dropped off prior to commerce’s respective June 4, 2019, and Nov. 3, 2020, preliminary antidumping duty determinations. Rather than compete on a level playing field, importers wanted to avoid having to pay antidumping and countervailing duties on those mattresses.”

The petition notes that many of the same importers and affiliates of the foreign producers involved in the Mattress 1.0 and Mattress 2.0 investigations are now sourcing low-priced mattresses from the aforementioned third group of countries covered by the petitions. It notes that the volume of imports subject to these petitions rose significantly — more than doubling from 6,417,050 units in 2020 to 13,439,831 units in 2022, a 109.4% increase. It adds that they also remained at high levels into the first quarter of 2023.

“Like the prior two waves, the third wave of imports also relied on subsidies and/or dumping to capture market share from the U.S. industry and its workers,” the petition states, adding, “Subject imports achieved this remarkable market penetration so quickly by underselling domestic prices, and these low-priced subject imports also caused adverse price effects.”

The petition noted that based on information made “reasonably” available to the petitioners some of the domestic industry’s financial performance improved between 2020 and 2021.  

However, it noted that because of increasing volumes of low-priced subject imports, the domestic industry’s condition declined. “From 2021 to 2022, U.S. mattress workers lost jobs across the country and the domestic industry’s production, capacity utilization, commercial U.S. shipments, hours worked and operating income and margins all declined from 2021 to 2022 to lower levels than in 2020.

The petition recommends seeking pricing information on imports for the following mattress categories:

+ Product 1: Memory foam mattress (without any innersprings), queen size, height (edge to edge) greater than or equal to 8.0 inches but less than or equal to 10.0 inches.

+  Product 2: Memory foam mattress (without any innersprings), queen size, height (edge to edge) greater than or equal to 10.0 inches but less than or equal to 12.0 inches.

+ Product 3: Innerspring mattress (including mattresses with multiple cores and/or foam in addition to the innerspring), queen size, height (edge to edge) greater than or equal to 9.0 inches but less than or equal to 12.0 inches.

Bedding News Now will continue to update this story as additional information becomes available.

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