ALBANY, NY – Harden Furniture and other U.S. residential furniture manufacturers are "owed tens of millions of dollars in antidumping fees" that the federal government has failed to collect from Chinese wooden bedroom furniture manufacturers in recent years, claims U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).
According to a statement by Sen. Schumer’s office, not only is the Customs and Borders Protection not collecting the fees, but it will not disclose "which companies are missing out and what they are owed."
“It is simply unacceptable that Customs and Border Protection officials have been asleep at the wheel when it comes to collecting the mandated fees on illegal Chinese furniture imports that are intended to level the playing field for domestic furniture manufacturers that are playing by the rules. The CBP cannot even identify the bad actors which continue to break the law,” Sen. Schumer said in the May 30 statement.
“This negligence has cost furniture manufactures tens of millions of dollars across the country, and it is felt deeply at home where Harden Furniture, one of Central New York’s landmark companies, has been denied an estimated $1 million dollars in uncollected fees. This lost revenue not only prevents Harden from being able to expand and grow, but it also creates unfair competition for this home-grown business. I am calling on the CBP to swiftly reconcile the damages owed to Harden so they can continue their planned expansion, increase production, and maintain and grow their workforce,” he added.
Harden Furniture employs 250 people at its McConnellsville, NY-based manufacturing plant.
"At Harden we're proud of the fact that we've committed to an American workforce, led by some very talented people from in and around Oneida County. In fact, over 99 percent of our production is domestic and that's a trend more and more customers are appreciating,” Greg Harden, president of Harden Furniture said in the statement. “Unfortunately, Senator Schumer is right and Customs officials are asleep at the wheel, refusing to enforce measures the Senator wisely put in place. This is costing our industry millions in uncollected damages; money we'd be using to boost production and jobs right here in Oneida County. We thank Senator Schumer for calling attention to the problem and remain optimistic he will find a solution."
Antidumping duties were originally set to expire in 2010 before the International Trade Commission voted to extend them for another five years. Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce issued a preliminary antidumping duty of 216.01% on Chinese wooden bedroom furniture shipped to the United States between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.
It was back in 2003 that a group of U.S. furniture manufacturers banned together as the American Furniture Manufacturers Committee for Legal Trade and filed what would be a successful antidumping petition against the People's Republic of China for wooden bedroom furniture.
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