Mattress exporters warned over AD probe
Thai mattress exporters are being warned to brace for a possible anti-dumping duty (AD) from the US, which is investigating AD and countervailing duty (CVD) claims on mattress imports from several countries, including Thailand.
Keerati Rushchano, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the US Department of Commerce announced the initiation of a new AD probe in April to determine whether mattresses from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam were being sold in the US at less than fair value.
The petitions were filed by US mattress manufacturers after witnessing a substantial increase in imports from the seven countries, resulting in a sharp fall in their market share, sales and profits, Mr Keerati said.
If these investigations find dumping or unfair subsidies, and if the US International Trade Commission determines that such actions materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the US industry, then the US will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidisation found to exist.
Final determinations are scheduled for Nov 23 for the AD investigations and Sept 8 for the CVD investigation.
If no violations are found or no injury to US industry is determined, the investigations will be terminated without duties.
The US Department of Commerce reported that it has initiated 238 new AD and CVD investigations, a 213% increase from the comparable period in the previous administration.
Mr Keerati said the Foreign Trade Department has talked with local mattress manufacturers and both parties agreed it would be unfair if Thai exporters face AD penalties.
Thai mattresses exported to the US have different purposes, such as health mattresses or those used to prevent back pain, he said. US manufacturers have yet to produce such products or can only make a small number of them, Mr Keerati said.
In 2018, Thailand's mattress exports totalled 75,000 pieces worth 40 million baht. The figure surged to 830,000 pieces worth 1.9 billion baht in 2019.
In a related development, according to Mr Keerati, the US in May started an investigation into AD and CVD for imports of passenger vehicle and light truck (PVLT) tyres from four countries, including Thailand, after complaints from American businesses.
Thailand exports more than 20 million auto tyres annually. The US is its largest market.
A final determination is scheduled for Nov 9.