ROSEVILLE, Calif. – The Home Furnishings Association (HFA) has called for a measured approach to the investigation into alleged trade violations by Vietnam.
The organization is hoping to prevent premature or unwarranted action from taking place that would further disrupt furniture supply chains, adding to the issues already caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Trade Representatives (USTR) office has said it will look into charges that Vietnam has engaged in currency manipulation and that it has exported some wood products containing illegally harvested timber into the U.S.
“The allegations contained in the investigation into Vietnam are very concerning on many levels, and we do not condone any of the practices alleged,” said Mark Schumacher, CEO of the Home Furnishings Association, in a letter to government leaders. “We know that the due process of the trade representative will be thorough and eventually there will be conclusions on all of these allegations. There will then be opportunities for the U.S. and Vietnam to work out solutions to these serious issues.”
Schumacher added, “In the meantime, the Home Furnishings Association is asking that the USTR office be given the ability to fully work through its investigative process. Further, we feel that any interim sanctions or punitive actions prior to those conclusions would negatively impact the home furnishing retail industry recovery through price hikes and further disruption of the supply chain and therefore would hurt the U.S. economy as a whole.”
Furniture stores, like other businesses, closed their doors for weeks earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Schumacher. When they reopened, they found strong demand for home furnishings products. This made the home furnishings sector a leader in the U.S. economic recovery.
Meeting the demand for product, however, is hampered by supply chain delays, disruptions and price increases, Schumacher went on to say, suggesting that any hasty action against Vietnam, before all the facts are known, could cause further harm to the furniture industry and the overall economy.