Ashley Furniture and Ethan Allen, two of the nation's largest home-furnishings manufacturers, lost in the U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit regarding a decade old Chinese antidumping case.
The two companies sought a share of punitive duties levied under the now defunct Byrd Amendment, which, until 2007, protected U.S. companies from dumping by foreign manufacturers.
Back in 2003, several companies within the American Furniture Manufacturers Committee for Legal trade signed a petition against Chinese wooden-bed manufacturers for dumping - selling below the manufacturing cost - in the U.S. market.
After the International Trade Commission determined in 2010 that the domestic industry had been injured by dumped imports from China, it surveyed U.S. domestic wooden bedroom manufacturers asking if they supported its determination. At this point Ashley Furniture opposed the determination - it imports furniture from China - and Ethan Allen took no position.
When the Commerce Department authorized payment of damages to the U.S. manufacturers, Ashley Furniture and Ethan Allen were not included. They subsequently sued to get a share of the award. The court denied their claim in a 2-1 vote. The one dissenting judge noted in his opinion, "When the Byrd Amendment was enacted, there was no mention of using the support/oppose question in the ITC’s questionnaires as the basis for determining which domestic producers could receive Byrd Amendment distributions."
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