WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court decided against hearing a case challenging the controversial Byrd Amendment, potentially freeing at least $60 million held by the U.S. government to be distributed to the petitioners of the 2004 furniture antidumping case against wood bedroom furniture made in China.

The case that the Supreme Court declined to hear involved SFK USA Inc., a ball-bearing manufacturer based in Sweden. In its appeal to a lower court's ruling, the company had argued that under the free speech amendment it did not have to sign an antidumping petition to be able to receive a portion of the duties collected by the government under  the Byrd Amendment. 

According to Furniture Today,  many companies that did not originally support the antidumping petition, had filed a lawsuit  of their own to collect millions of dollars in duties collected on imported Chinese bedroom furniture since 2004 as required by the Byrd Amendment. Companies involved in the lawsuit included Ashley Furniture, Ethan Allen, Furniture Brands Intl, Kimball Furniture, Orleans Furniture, Solid Comfort and Standard Furniture.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Furniture Brands Intl  had hoped to collect $25 million in antidumping duties. FBI had fought against the petitioners, mainly comprised of U.S. furniture manufacturers. The petitioners convinced the International Trade Commission that they were forced to layoff employees because of unfair competition.

Read Furniture Today's report.

Read the St. Louis -Post-Dispatch's report.

Read Wood & Wood Products' July 2004 story about the furniture antidumping case.

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