WASHINGTON, May 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A group of American mattress manufacturers and their workers applaud the U.S. Department of Justice’s decisive action to withdraw a statement of interest made in the U.S. International Trade Commission’s investigation concerning the impact of dumped and subsidized mattress imports on the American mattress industry.
In late April, the Competition Policy and Advocacy Section filed a non-party statement of interest on the ITC’s docket. Two days later, the International Sleep Products Association, the industry association that includes companies on both sides of the ITC investigation, filed a detailed response that noted the lack of any factual basis for that statement. Within a week, DOJ has now withdrawn the statement.
“The statement of interest was not based on facts or any established process for gathering those facts,” said Yohai Baisburd, counsel to the Mattress Petitioners. “We were confident, however, that once DOJ became aware of the substantial unutilized capacity of the domestic industry to produce mattresses and the thousands of mattresses the industry continues to provide to hospitals and nursing homes across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement of interest would either be modified or withdrawn. We are grateful that DOJ leadership chose to quickly research the facts and withdraw the statement.”
“The truth is, every day, American companies and workers are being injured by unfair trade practices,” said Baisburd. “Congress has given U.S. industries and workers the tools to address these unfair trade practices and the criteria the International Trade Commission must apply. Why they initially sought to inject themselves in a Congressionally mandated process designed to ensure fair competition for American workers and American companies is a mystery. It is heartening that senior leadership at Justice took immediate decisive action to withdraw the statement.”
Since 2017, more than 40 American mattress manufacturers have been forced to close their doors due to massive increases in the volume of unfairly traded imports – negatively impacting thousands of American workers across the entire country. Those thousands of American workers were thrown out of work by unfair trade practices, and the surviving mattress manufacturers have been forced to cut hours and wages for remaining workers.
“During these times of substantial injury by reason of imports, the domestic industry mobilized immediately and are fighting on the front lines of this war against an invisible enemy,” said Baisburd. He continued, “It really is a testament to the strength of the America spirit that these companies and workers can be meeting this challenge head-on while also petitioning for fair trade in the face of surging unfairly traded imports.”
The Mattress Petitioners, a group of American companies and unions who petitioned the ITC and Commerce Department to investigate these unfairly traded import practices, is requesting that Commerce and the ITC use a Congressionally mandated process to independently investigate whether unfair trade exists and is materially injuring U.S. producers and American workers. The Mattress Petitioners include Brooklyn Bedding, Corsicana Mattress Company, Elite Comfort Solutions, FXI, Inc., Innocor, Inc., Kolcraft Enterprises Inc., and Leggett & Platt, Incorporated, as well as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO.