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RCC to fight anti-dumping tariffs on leather and motion furniture

 28 April 2021     Michael J. Knell 

TORONTO – The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is raising money as part of an effort to turn back a bid to impose anti-dumping tariffs on imports of motion and leather furniture imported from Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China.

In a bulletin to its members sent out April 13, the RCC said that as of May 5, “retailers and importers will be forced to pay provisional anti-dumping tariffs estimated at 53.58% for motion and leather furniture from China and 40.18% rates for products from Vietnam (with regular duty and GST on top of that total amount).”

Last December, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) launched an investigation under the Special Imports Measures Act (SIMA) after receiving a complaint from five Canadian upholstery manufacturers seeking protection “from larges volumes of unfairly dumped and subsidised goods from China and Vietnam.”

Related Story: CBSA to investigate leather furniture dumping

The five companies filing the complaint were Palliser, EQ3, Elran, Jaymar and Fornirama.

“Unless we prove to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) that the charges brought by Palliser Furniture are groundless, the industry will face import duties for a minimum of five years, possibly at even higher rates,” the RCC bulletin said, adding it is “building a coalition to represent the interests of our furniture retailers/importers and several key retailers have agreed to participate in the full proceedings. These retailers will be representing all of us and are assuming substantial costs to defend and represent you.”

The Retail Council of Canada has retained the Toronto-based law firm of Bennett Jones and its international trade specialist Darrel H. Pearson to represent its coalition.

The bulletin asks retailers and importers who buys motion furniture or any type of leather upholstery in Vietnam and the PRC and “wishes to continue doing so” to consider making a contribution and sending it to RCC president and chief executive officer Diane J. Brisebois.

When asked by Home Goods Online why the RCC was getting involved in this matter and what their objections were to the tariff, Brisebois declined to respond although she did acknowledge her organization was behind the move.

“While RCC is working with our member community on this matter, as noted below, it will not comment on the case or related details as it is confidential,” she told HGO in an e-mail.

It’s not known how many furniture, mattress and appliance retailers are RCC members although Mike Walsh, president and chief operating officer of Leon’s Furniture Limited (LFL) is a member of its board of directors. LFL, this country’s largest furniture retailer, is the parent of Leon’s, The Brick and Appliance Canada.

He acknowledged LFL is working with the RCC on this matter but declined to comment further, noting that while the original complaint is public, the council’s response isn’t at this time.

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This HGO article was written by:
Michael J. Knell
Michael J. Knell

Michael is the publisher and editor of Home Goods Online. A seasoned business journalist, he has researched and written about the furniture, mattress and major appliance industries in both Canada and the United States for the past three decades.

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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