Mattress makers in the U.S. aren’t resting as easy as they once did.
When it comes to the topic of international trade, there are plenty of differing opinions that land all across the political and economic spectrums.
On one hand, international trade is an important part of a healthy economy on either side of the border. An old saying says when goods don’t cross borders, boots will. And even if a strict domestic approach to manufacturing doesn’t lead to a war in the military sense, it could lead to a trade war – which can hit the wallets and purses of unsuspecting citizens.
On the other side of the spectrum is a simple approach regarding cost-efficiency. If a person can buy a product from a foreign country for less than they could in their own country, they save money – meaning they have the product they want, and more cash leftover they could put back into the domestic market if they choose.
But things get a little bit trickier when the manufacturers themselves are brought into the equation. They have a vested interest in protecting their own standings from foreign competitors. And this is exactly what is happening in the U.S. mattress industry.
A collation of juggernauts in the field including the likes of Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, Tempur Sealy International LLC, Future Foam Inc., and many more have come together under the fitting name of the Mattress Petitioners. This mattress-making supergroup is living up to their title, as they have filed an antidumping petition against Chinese mattress manufacturers.
Dumping, or dumping margin, refers to a difference in prices between those of Chinese products imported to the U.S. and the actual value calculated according to US trade law. The concern is that cheap mattresses from China are flooding the U.S. market and undercutting domestic producers – and in turn, it is putting their business and their employees in danger.
The petition notes that both innerspring and foam mattresses are at risk of causing material injury or the threat thereof to U.S. companies, and that dumping margins range from 267 percent to over 1700 percent.
The petition seeks to impose antidumping duties on these manufacturers in an effort to reverse a concerning trend. Over the past three years, more mattresses have been making their way into the US market from overseas. And in turn, they’ve been putting the pressure on US companies. If something isn’t done soon, the landscape for mattress sales in the U.S. could look very different in just a few short years.
The petition will necessitate the implementation of a full investigation. This process could take anywhere from nine to twelve months to complete, though there is a chance that preliminary antidumping duties could be imposed in as little as six months.
There’s a lot of debate to be had about domestic production versus international production. And while most people only care when the issue affects them personally from a financial perspective, that could become a reality unless something changes