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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2010

SCHUMER REVEALS: RULING PROTECTING CENTRAL NEW YORK AND MOHAWK VALLEY FURNITURE MAKERS FROM UNFAIR CHINESE TRADE PRACTICES ABOUT TO EXPIRE - URGES U.S. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION TO KEEP PROTECTIONS IN PLACE

Since 2005 U.S. Government Has Penalized Chinese Companies for Attempting to Flood Domestic Market with Unfairly Priced Imports

Central New York and Mohawk Valley Companies L & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture Would be Hurt By Change in U.S. Trade Remedy

By Law, U.S. Penalties Against China Could Expire this Year if U.S. ITC Does Not Vote to Uphold Them; Schumer Urges Action

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released a letter to the members of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) urging them to keep in place current protections that prevent Chinese companies’ predatory pricing practices from undercutting U.S. manufacturers of furniture. The ‘antidumping’ ruling, which is crucial to the success of two New York companies - L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture, has been in place since 2005 but by law will expire in 2010 unless it is reauthorized by the ITC. Today, Schumer’s letter to the ITC urges the agency to keep current penalties against Chinese manufacturers in place in order to level the playing field for U.S. furniture makers.

 

“Once again Chinese companies are attempting to use illegal trade practices to undermine U.S. manufacturers,” said Schumer.  “The good news this time is that we have protections in place, and it’s vital we keep them that way. For over 100 years, both L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture have provided New York families with good paying jobs and benefits, and we can’t afford to lose these jobs because China wants to flood the market with cheap exports.”

 

“The U.S. furniture manufacturing industry has been greatly damaged in recent years by unfair Chinese trade practices. Over 25% of the industry’s jobs have been lost as a result of Chinese furniture dumping,” Aminy Audi, President of L & J.G. Stickley. “Foremost of these unfair practices is the deliberate manipulation of Chinese currency by the Chinese government. The anti-dumping duties imposed by Commerce and the ITC gave recognition to these unfair trade practices and helped preserve jobs for Stickley and the industry. If the anti-dumping order is allowed to expire, we know that the unfair trade practices will continue, and that more U.S jobs will be in jeopardy. We implore the ITC to continue the anti-dumping order and as a result save American jobs.”

 

Audi added, “L. & J. G. Stickley, Inc. has a rich history of over one hundred years producing collector quality furniture. We employ over 1,300 proud workers and craftsmen who deserve an equal playing field, without the manipulation of the Chinese government. We appreciate Senator Schumer’s support of this cause and his support of American workers at a time when U.S. jobs are especially precious.”

 

"The imposition of duties allowed Harden Furniture to make investments in our brand that would otherwise have been impossible,” said Gregory M. Harden, President and CEO of Harden Furniture. “Continuing duties will provide all domestic producers with a level playing field, preserving jobs and market opportunities for domestic producers. Despite a very challenging economy we remain committed to our business, customers and employees"

 

In 2003, American producers of wooden bedroom furniture – including New York manufacturers L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture – filed an antidumping petition on imports of wooden bedroom furniture from China.  After extensive investigation, the Department of Commerce determined that Chinese wooden bedroom furniture was being dumped in the U.S. market, and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) found that these imports from China were causing injury to our domestic industry and workers producing wooden bedroom furniture. 

 

Dumping occurs when a foreign producer sells a product in the United States at a price that is below that producer's sales price in its home market, or at a price that is lower than the cost of production. The difference between the price (or cost) in the foreign market and the price in the U.S. market is called the dumping margin.  The dumping margin is used to determine the amount of antidumping duties to be collected on imports of a product found to be dumped and causing injury to the domestic industry.

 

As a result of the Commerce and ITC investigations, antidumping duties were imposed to offset Chinese dumping of wooden bedroom furniture in the U.S. market.  The duties imposed range from 1 to 198 percent.  The duties have gone a long way towards protecting the remaining U.S. manufacturers, including L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture, from further harm, and in keeping manufacturing jobs in this industry in the United States and in the state of New York.

 

Now that the duties have been in effect for five years, Commerce and the ITC must review whether dumping and injury would be likely to continue or resume if the duties were terminated.  This type of review is called a “sunset review.” 

 

In December 2009, Commerce initiated a sunset review of the antidumping duty order on wooden bedroom furniture from China, and on April 7, 2010, Commerce determined that termination of the duties would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping.  The ITC is now considering whether termination of the duties would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of economic harm to the U.S. industry.  The ITC will hold a hearing on this issue on October 5, 2010.  A final decision by the ITC is expected by the end of November.  If the ITC concludes that termination of the duties would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of injury to the U.S. industry, the dumping order and dumping duties on imports will remain in place.

 

Schumer wrote a letter to the members of the ITC urging them to keep these protections in place. The full text of his letter can be seen below:

 

The Honorable Deanna Tanner Okun

Chairman, U.S. International Trade Commission

 

The Honorable Charlotte R. Lane

The Honorable Daniel R. Pearson

The Honorable Shara L. Aranoff

The Honorable Irving A. Williamson

The Honorable Dean A. Pinkert

Commissioners, U.S. International Trade Commission

500 E Street, SW

Washington, DC 20436

 

Dear Chairman Okun and Commissioners,

 

I write to express support for the continuation of the antidumping duty order on wooden bedroom furniture from China.  The duties imposed on dumped imports have gone a long way towards protecting the remaining U.S. wooden bedroom furniture companies – including New York manufacturers L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture – from further harm, and in keeping manufacturing jobs in this industry in the United States and in my state of New York.  The duties remain necessary to protect these and other U.S. manufacturers, and their employees, from continuation or recurrence of economic injury.

 

Iconic manufacturers L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture have deep roots in the state of New York, each with over 100 years of quality furniture manufacturing expertise.  L. & J.G. Stickley, founded in 1900, has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Manlius, New York, and provides well paying jobs and attractive benefits to over 900 employees in New York.  Harden Furniture, located in McConnellsville, New York, was started in 1844.  Still family-owned and operated, Harden Furniture has been and remains a cornerstone in the Central New York economy and provides 270 families with good paying jobs.  Generations of American workers and their families have depended on L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture for their livelihoods.  Over 1,170 local craftspeople and their families still do so today.

 

L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture, and other domestic furniture manufacturers, face crippling competition from dumped imports of wooden bedroom furniture from China.  Termination of the duties on these unfair imports would devastate these companies and their workers, as well as the communities in which they operate.  I respectfully urge you to maintain the antidumping duty order on wooden bedroom furniture from China.  The order is vital to protecting L. & J.G. Stickley and Harden Furniture and other U.S. manufacturers, and their employees, from continuation or recurrence of economic injury. 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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