New 295% tariff may cause furniture prices to skyrocket in Canada

May 31 2021, 9:00 am

Huge new tariffs have been applied country-wide to upholstered furniture from China and Vietnam sold in Canada.

Effective May 5, provisional tariffs of 295.5 percent and 101.5 percent are being imposed on these imports to “offset the harmful effects of dumping and subsidization.”

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said in an email statement to Daily Hive that “investigations into allegations of dumped and subsidized imports of upholstered domestic seating from China and Vietnam were initiated in response to a formal written complaint filed by Canadian producers of like goods.”

“Canadian producers have the legislated right, under the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA), to be protected from unfairly priced imports, including goods that have been dumped and/or subsidized.”

Hometown Furniture is a small furniture business with locations in Pentiction, Kelowna, Chilliwack, and Mission, British Colombia.

Ryan Kandola, manager of the Hometown Furniture in Chilliwack, said they have been impacted by this change.

Hometown Furniture has told customers that their container has been cancelled, and they can either receive their money back or exchange their order for another product.

“What someone was buying for, let’s say $1,700, they are going to be buying for $6,000 now,” he said.

Kandola said he heard about the tariffs back in February, but assumed it would be about 15 or 30 percent, “similar to what Trump did to China.”

He stated that a lower tariff increase like that would have been more manageable, but what the CBSA has imposed is “infeasible.”

“No one thought it was going to be so high…in the span of about a week, our costs have gone up three, four times on some products.”

Small business owners have already been struggling during the pandemic, and this sudden change gave them no time in advance to prepare.

“Any product that was shipped out, that’s currently on the water, or just about to come into port, is going to be hit with that new tariff. Even if you had no idea it was gonna happen,” Kandola said.

Many companies are moving their plants from Vietnam and China to countries like Cambodia and Malaysia, where they do not have tariffs imposed. However, it has still been difficult to bring in consumers with this change.

Kandola said that most of their customers want to support local businesses, but their budget does determine what they are buying, and this change is making that difficult.

The CBSA said that their investigations are continuing, and a final decision regarding dumping and subsidizing will be made by August 3, 2021.

Kandola said that he hopes the CBSA re-evaluates this and comes up with a more reasonable number.

“It’s unsustainable because with everything else increasing, and not the ability to get any product from our Canadian providers, this is going to be a disaster for people.”

More information on the CITT’s process is available online.

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