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American Mattress Alliance Unites Industry Amid COVID-19 Bed Shortage

Furniture World News Desk on 4/3/2020

The American Mattress Alliance recently announced its response to an official petition filed March 31 with the International Trade Commission by a group of U.S. corporations.

The petition aims to bar imported mattresses—including medical-grade mattresses under a number of HTS codes including 9404.21—by imposing insurmountable tariffs up to 1,008 percent. Seven developing countries were targeted: Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, Serbia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia—representing 83.3 percent of all mattress imports in the U.S in 2020.

News agencies are reporting that beds are one of the most essential medical devices hospitals need now. COVID-19 projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation indicate American hospitals will not have 87,674 hospital beds and 19,863 intensive care unit beds in time to save lives.

“If we shut down the supply of hospital beds, the immediate effect would be catastrophic as more and more hospitals and emergency centers are calling out for more beds,” said Michael Roizen, MD, emeritus chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic. “We are in this for the long run and should be planning for additional peaks later this year and into the future.”

If this ITC case reaches the preliminary hearing on April 21, it ends U.S. importers’ ability to supply mattresses to help throughout the pandemic.

Ashley Furniture VP of International Sourcing Operations and Regulatory Affairs Brian Adams stated, “The coronavirus is battering the U.S. economy and endangering American jobs. Now my industry is fighting a new battle against an antidumping case targeting seven countries that make up a small, but critical 22 percent of U.S. mattresses market. It’s disheartening that these corporations are actively working to limit incoming mattresses that are so crucial to fighting COVID-19 and saving lives.”

This global crisis is the worst possible time for corporate power moves to increase market share. Imported mattresses make up a significant percentage of beds in hospitals. And American importers need to continue offering beds to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Importers affected by the petition include Ashley Furniture, City Furniture, Rooms to Go, Wayfair, Ikea, Maven, Malouf, Dorel, Zinus and others. Click here to see the complete list.  

Sam Malouf, CEO of Malouf, added, “We were slapped in the face with this petition that is working against us as we race to get beds in hospitals. We don’t need this distraction. We don’t need to be pulled from the front lines. We need this ITC case stalled now. We need to focus on the crisis at hand.”

Maven is currently supplying thousands of beds to hospitals and crisis centers across the country. Maven has distribution channels in place for overnight and two-day fulfillment across North America to get beds in hospitals and emergency centers immediately.

Steve Douglas, vice president of operations for Maven, stated, “These petitioners are willing to put American lives at risk for their personal gain. It is abusive. It is immoral.”

To learn more about the American Mattress Alliance and this issue, visit americanmattressalliance.org. Companies interested in joining the Alliance can contact Bryce Larsen at 929-335-4653 or bryce.larsen@americanmattressalliance.org.

About American Mattress Alliance: The American Mattress Alliance exists to provide high-quality products to American consumers with an emphasis on innovation and accessibility. The American Mattress Alliance was created in response to an antidumping petition filed on March 31, 2020. Members include Ashley Furniture, Maven, Malouf, Mlily USA, and others. The communications chair is Bryce Larsen.  americanmattressalliance.org.