FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 9, 2006
Schumer, Clinton Work To Close China Trade Loophole That Now Hurts Hudson Valley Window Blinds Manufacturer
Hunter-Douglas, Who Is Opening Their North American Headquarters In Pearl River, Is Suffering Due To Quota Loophole On Textile Window Blinds And Shades From China
Senators: This Is Yet Another Example Of Chinese Manufacturers Not Playing By The Rules; The Administration Should Help Pass The Bipartisan Legislation This Year
U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton today urged the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez to support legislation that would end the circumvention of the quota on textile window blinds from China, which hurts companies like Hunter-Douglas in the Hudson Valley. Last fall, Schumer, Clinton and others successfully lobbied to institute the quota, however, it is currently being thwarted because the county of origin is based on the origin of the raw materials, rather than the country where the most significant value is added in the manufacturing process. Schumer, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Clinton are pushing legislation that would close this loophole.
“Hunter-Douglas is investing even more in New York State by moving their headquarters to Pearl River,” Senator Schumer said. “Everyone knows that when it comes to trade matters, the Chinese don’t always play by the rules. This is yet another example of an Upstate New York company being devastated by China’s unfair trade practices. It is vitally important that the Department of Commerce support this legislation that will once and for all close this loophole.”
“We cannot continue to allow Chinese companies to use unfair trade practices to get around U.S. trade rules. Jobs in New York are being threatened each day we allow this loophole to go unnoticed. I will continue to fight to ensure local manufacturers like Hunter-Douglas can be protected from foreign companies who don’t follow the rules,” Senator Clinton said.
Currently, Chinese manufacturers can purchase fabric in Taiwan and ship it to China where approximately 70-80 percent of the value of the finished shade is added in multiple, complex manufacturing steps. The fabric is folded, pleated, and glued into “cellular” or “honeycomb” shapes, then attached to metal or plastic rails with a system of cords to raise and lower the shade. These production steps take place in China. The finished window blinds and shades are then shipped to the United States as "Products of Taiwan." This allows the merchandise to completely circumvent the quota on Chinese textile window blinds and shades. Schumer and Clinton are pushing a bill introduced by Senator DeMint (S. 3556), which closes this loophole that is allowing Chinese manufacturers to circumvent the quota.
Hunter Douglas will break ground on their news North American headquarters on a 22 acre site in Pearl River, New York in 2007. They will initially employ approximately 115 people in Pearl River, and would expect that the number of employees there will eventually increase to about 200.