Tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China, including most furniture products, jumped from 10 percent to 25 percent this month. The additional tax is expected to force many Home Furnishings Association members to raise the prices they charge customers for some items.
The increase in tariffs, planned since last year, covers List 3 products. There is a List 4, which includes virtually all other imports from China, a category worth about $300 billion. The Office of U.S. Trade Representative proposes putting 25 percent tariffs on those imports, too.
These tariffs will have less direct impact on furniture retailers, although they may carry some covered products from China. Here are a few examples, as published in the Federal Register May 17:
9401.90.15: Parts of seats nesoi (not elsewhere specified or included), for bent-wood seats.
9401.90.25: Parts of seats (o/than of 9402) nesoi, of cane, osier, bamboo or similar materials.
9404.30.40: Sleeping bags, containing 20% or more by weight of feathers and/or down.
9404.30.80: Sleeping bags, not containing 20% or more by weight of feathers and/or down.
9404.90.10: Pillows, cushions and similar furnishings, of cotton.
9404.90.20: Pillows, cushions and similar furnishings, other than of cotton.
9404.90.80: Arts. of bedding & similar furnishings stuffed or internally fitted w/any material nesoi, of cotton, w/o embroidery/lace/braid/edging, etc.
9404.90.85: Quilts, eiderdowns, comforters and similar articles, not of cotton.
9404.90.95: Arts. of bedding & similar furnishings stuffed or internally fitted w/any material nesoi.
4414.00.00: Wooden frames for paintings, photographs, mirrors or similar objects.
4421.99.30: Blinds, shutters, screens and shades of wood other than bamboo, with wooden frames having fixed louver boards or slates in the center.
The Federal Register notice sets a deadline of June 17 for accepting public comments about the proposed tariffs. These are the procedures to follow:
“All submissions must be in English and sent electronically via www.regulations.gov.
“To submit comments, enter docket number USTR-2019-0004 on the home page and click ‘search.’ The site will provide a search-results page listing all documents association with this docket. Find a reference to this notice and click on the link titled ‘comment now!’”
Further instructions can be found here.
The notice explains that comments should address whether imposing tariffs on particular products would cause disproportionate economic hardship to U.S. interests, including to small- and medium-size businesses and consumers. HFA members who believe their businesses and customers would be hurt by additional tariffs should submit comments.