The Department of Commerce further stated that if the investigations revealed the alleged Chinese actions were indeed being carried out at the cost of unfairly cutting the market share of US manufacturers and that their actions were causing material injury or threat of material injury to US manufacturers, then they will seriously consider imposition of duties on Chinese sleep products.
The market for Chinese-made sleep products was estimated to be around US$436.5 million in 2017. If present market conditions and trends continue, this figure will continue its upward trajectory even in 2018 and beyond.
Diminishing US Market Share and Fall in US Shipments
While the market for Chinese sleep products has seen exponential growth, in stark contrast the market share of US sleep products is diminishing.
As per the International Sleep Products Assn. (ISPA), imports of mattresses had grown at a rate of 100% from the year 2016 to 2017 while shipments of sleeping mattresses for the same period recorded a year-over-year drop.
The association also pointed out that the drop in US shipments was happening for the first time in nearly a decade and that it was an added cause for concern.
High Dumping Margins Violate the Practice of Free and Fair Trade
Because the dumping margins, which currently range anything between 267% to 1,700% and more, are extremely high, US manufacturers of sleep products are finding it very challenging to continue to hold on to their market share and make profits.
As sales and profit margins drop, this will have a cascading effect on the employment rate across the industry. Although US manufacturers are in complete support of free and fair trade, the practice of unfair pricing and undercutting of prices clearly violates the principles of fair trade.
Initial decision on the petition will be announced by the International Trade Commission (ITC) on November 2nd while the Department of Commerce will announce its decision on February 27th. The final decision on the investigation could be announced on May 13th.
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