Wood Flooring Import Duties War in US
A war is brewing over the possibility of adding extra taxes to imported wooden flooring – often used in wood floor repairs – from China in the United States. Eight US flooring companies have filed a petition with the country’s Commerce Department demanding that the imports face further taxes, as cheap quality wooden flooring is undermining their own businesses.
However, the real fight could be between US companies themselves, with many firmly opposed to the new taxes. Back in the December of last year, the US International Trade Commission declared that there was a “reasonable indication” that such cheap imports were having an adverse affect on the domestic flooring market, even despite the fact that the imports are already the target of tariffs of about eight percent. While Shaw Industries, one of the eight companies behind the petition, claims that they merely wish to change trade practices “where the company is unfairly disadvantaged”, some US firms that import the Chinese wooden flooring are aghast at the move.
Swift-Train Co vice president Jonathan Train is one of those, saying that such a move is both unfair and misguided, since the advantage will not end up being to that of US companies anyway. Train says other companies not subject to the tariffs will merely pick up where the Chinese leave off, but also notes that the move will hurt businesses such as his while being to the advantage of bigger firms such as Shaw Industries which can afford to manufacture their own product. “This is not the US versus China,” Train says. “It’s US companies against other US companies.”
The US Commerce Department will make its preliminary decisions on the issue this month.