China trade tariffs saved American furniture business

Last week the International Trade Commission’s (ITC’s) five-member panel unanimously voted to keep in place U.S. tariffs on China made wooden furniture. The decision stemmed from a review process where the tariffs must be reconsidered every five years.

The U.S. tariffs on China made wooden furniture were first imposed in 2005 under the Bush administration after furniture maker John Bassett III, who operates the Vaughan Bassett furniture company fought to save the industry from being gutted by cheap Chinese imports.

He spent many years showing how the Chinese were ripping off and stealing his companies designs and using unfair trade practices.

The U.S. China Bilateral WTO agreement which was signed in November of 1999 had opened to Chinese imports by lowering tariff barriers while keeping many of the trade barriers on US goods into China. It also made it possible for China to join the WTO.

In 2020 the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond detailed in a report that from 1999 to 2009, North Carolina’s furniture industry had lost more than a half of its jobs as a result of U.S. free trade policy with China. These imports from China turned out to have a major effect on U.S. manufacturing jobs especially

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