U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 12 mins

US Responds To Mattress Dumping Allegations With New Tariffs

Dave Royse

American mattress makers welcomed the U.S. government’s firm response to allegations of Chinese mattress dumping with new tariffs — but it may not have been the king-size response some had hoped for.

What Happened

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that Chinese exporters have dumped mattresses in the United States and ordered the collection of tariffs of about 75 percent on mattresses from most producers. The duties will be as high as 1,731 percent for a number of mattress firms that didn’t participate in the U.S. investigation.

Why It's Important

The government estimates that more than $435 million worth in mattresses are imported from China.

"We are thrilled that Commerce has confirmed that Chinese producers are relying on significant dumping margins to unfairly compete in the US market with margins as high as 1,731.75 percent," said Yohai Baisburd, the lead counsel to the U.S. mattress companies that petitioned the government for the decision.

The new duties are separate from the 25-percent "Section 301" duties the government previously imposed on a wide range of Chinese goods, including mattresses.

What's Next

The dumping case technically won’t be final until November, but the Commerce Department said federal officials will begin collecting cash deposits from importers before then. 

The Commerce Department applied dumping margins of 38.56 to 84.64 percent for two specific Chinese respondents, Healthcare Co., Ltd. and Zinus (Xiamen) Inc., and applied dumping margins of 74.65 percent to 33 other companies that U.S. officials said demonstrated independence from the Chinese government.

The 1,731.75-percent margin was applied to all other Chinese producers, though agency officials didn’t say how many mattresses were shipped into the U.S. in each category.

While the industry welcomed the move, at least one analyst said it wasn’t as strong as some wanted. 

Keith Hughes of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey told Furniture Today that the rates “will level the playing field” but are “not the knock-out blow the industry was looking for, in our view, given prices on Amazon.”

In addition to mattresses, the Commerce Department also announced new dumping finds against Chinese beer keg makers and applied additional tariffs to them as well.

Price Action

Tempur Sealy shares were up 1.09 percent at $63.73 at the close Thursday, while Leggett & Platt shares were down 0.95 percent at $36.48.

Related Links:

Wedbush Remains Bullish On Tempur Sealy After Checks Indicate Good Start For Tempur Breeze

A Tempur Sealy-Mattress Firm Reunion? Raymond James Says It's Increasingly Likely

See more from Benzinga

© 2019 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.