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100 Chinese furniture factories escape potentially higher duty rates

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department has published a list of 100 Chinese bedroom producers that have been exempted from an annual review that could have given them a higher duty rate on wooden bedroom furniture shipments made in 2011.

This means they get to keep their previously established separate duty rate, applied to shipments made that year.

This keeps these bedroom producers competitive in the U.S. market because it means importers of record won't have to pay a potentially higher retroactive duty on the shipments.

Among the key factories that have escaped review and kept their separate rate are Art Heritage International, Coe Ltd., Jiangmen Kinwai Furniture Decoration Co., Dalian Huafeng Furniture Co., Fine Furniture Shanghai and Shing Mark Enterprise Co.

These companies escaped review because parties that requested an audit of their 2011 shipments withdrew their requests within 90 days of the publication of the initial notice announcing the annual review.

The government imposes the duties in order to help level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers that have been injured due to unfairly priced imports. While the case hasn't brought many manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., it has had some effect on Chinese bedroom production by shifting some production to places like Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

In the past, the factories have gotten their names taken off the list after agreeing to pay settlement fees to the legal counsel for the U.S. petitioners that supported the antidumping case. It was unclear to what extent this process took place for the 2011 review.

The DOC also published a preliminary list of 80 companies that have failed to establish a separate duty rate, also known as the Section A rate. These companies are subject to paying the China-wide rate of 216.01% on shipments made in the same year.

For a list of the 100 factories that have gotten to keep their separate rate, see the Federal Register posting online at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-08-29/html/2012-21341.htm.

The same document includes the list of 80 factories that are expected to be assessed at 216%.

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