When the United States Trade Representative announced a section 301 investigation involving Vietnam and allegations of the exportation of some wood products containing illegally harvested timber, the Home Furnishings Association has been on the record advocating a measured approach to the investigation. Our primary concern is simple. If the administration acts, as it did with China, and places wide-sweeping tariffs on wood furniture products coming out of Vietnam, it will negatively impact you, our members, and the customers you serve.
This is a critical fight. Home furnishings retail has been a bright spot in our economy as sales for furniture and bedding have been strong. Yet, meeting the demand for products is hampered by supply chain delays, disruptions, and price increases. Broad-spectrum tariffs against Vietnam products would hurt the home furnishing retail industry’s recovery through further price hikes and cause more disruption of the supply chain. That’s not good for you, your customers, or the US economy.
On December 28th, I testified before the USTR about our concerns on the Vietnam investigation, and we’re following up with some responses to questions they had for us. We believe it is essential to get on the record and put forward the concerns you all have about any additional pressure on prices. You’ve been through enough. We realize that, and we’re trying to protect your business. Hopefully, we are heard and that any tariffs levied against Vietnamese products will focus only on those made from illegally sourced timber.
I hope our argument proves persuasive for everyone’s sake.