Join
×

Current USTR Tariffs give Chinese manufacturers a competitive advantage over USA Supplier and Manufacturers, crippling US goods and growth recovery

June 22, 2021

DOWNLITE with Other US brands still battle Trumpian Instated tariff Policies

Mason, OH, June 22, 2021 —  Downlite Outdoor, a division of Downlite, a market leader in down and feather processing and a supplier of responsibly sourced performance fills unduly burdened by current round of Tariffs. USTR Tariffs give Chinese manufacturers a competitive advantage over American manufacturers. Small businesses across America are struggling to survive.  COVID is only the most recent challenge.

As noted in the Wall Street Journal on June 13th article by Josh Zumbrun, “The Biden administration’s long-awaited review of tariff policy can’t come soon enough for an Ohio bedding maker, which says it is being pummeled by U.S. levies on imported Chinese feathers.”

One of DOWNLITE’s key raw materials was on list 4A while Chinese imported finished goods were part of list 4B.  List 4A was finalized and put into place on September 1, 2019, while list 4B was never implemented.  The result was that raw materials needed to make products in America by American workers now carried tariff, as they were a part of list 4A.  At the same time, finished products made entirely in China and imported into the USA were never tariffed, as they were a part of list 4B.  This unexpected consequence gave China made finished goods a clear cost advantage over USA manufactured product, putting Chinese factories to work while hurting American workers. This still remains a crippling challenge to US suppliers and manufacturers.

While the virus has ravaged the American economy for the last 15 months, small businesses across America were fighting to survive years prior.  Government regulation and policy add costs and complexity at every turn.  American manufacturers bending under this pressure prior to COVID, and family businesses being especially vulnerable,  DOWNLITE is one such family business fighting for its existence.

DOWNLITE is a family-owned USA-based manufacturer of high-quality bedding: pillows, comforters, mattress pads, and more.  DOWNLITE has multiple North American factories and warehouses, and a long-standing history of supporting American workers, employing over 400 employees in Ohio and North Carolina alone.

When the Trump Administration announced tariffs on Chinese imports in 2018, a new set of challenges began.  The tariffs on certain raw materials (specifically on “Tariff List 3”) made American made products LESS competitive than similar products made in China and imported to the USA.

In response to this policy, DOWNLITE took part in United States Trade Representative (USTR) hearings to explain why these raw materials should not be burdened with a tariff, citing lack of domestic alternative supply sources, probable domestic job loss, and increased costs to the end consumer. Based on the guidance provided, the USTR removed those raw materials from List 3.

The good news, was short lived, In Mid-2019, the USTR announced “List 4”, which once again included DOWNLITE’s core raw materials. DOWNLITE returned to Washington DC and made its case to the USTR.  This time, the USTR decided against removal of these materials from the List. Even worse, the USTR split List 4 into two parts. List 4A included all materials coming from China, where less than 75% of the total volume imported into the United States originated from China. List 4B included all other items.  The USTR apparently believed this would help American manufacturers.  Unfortunately, it only made things worse.

DOWNLITE has been working diligently with the current administration and the USTR to reinstate the previously approved exclusions. Unfortunately, these tariffs remain.

Small businesses across America battle every day to survive.  They are nimble, full of hard-working people with families depending upon them. However, misguided government policy that hurts U.S. business and employees should not be one of them.

DOWNLITE continues to work with the USTR and our representatives to reinstate the previously approved tariff exemptions.  Please write the USTR at engagement@ustr.eop.gov or your  representatives in the Senate and the House and express your support to have the tariff exclusion process restarted.

About Downlite

Downlite with a 100 years history of down development in Europe, is the largest US bedding supplier for the home and hospitality industries (Macy’s, Costco, Marriott International, W Hotels). Downlite is also one of the largest bulk down and feather suppliers to apparel and sleeping bag makers in the outdoor industry. Downlite is proud to have been awarded the first RDS Scope Certificate and was offered the first TDS-Certified supply chain globally— both from Europe and the US, is bluesign certified, and a proud member of the American Feather & Down Council. Downlite has 5 North American manufacturing sites with sourcing teams based in China, Europe, and the US.  Downlite Outdoor

DOWNLITE continues to work with the USTR and our representatives to reinstate the previously approved tariff exemptions.  Please write the USTR at engagement@ustr.eop.gov or your representatives in the Senate and the House and express your support to have the tariff exclusion process restarted.

Communications: Beth Cochran  cochran@whatsuppr.com, whatsuppr.com, 406.579.7909