The U.S. Trade Representative has announced its most recent list of products to be granted an exclusion from the 25% tariffs assessed on goods imported from China. The exclusion includes products for several companies in the Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) industry that had submitted tariff exclusion requests demonstrating that LVT was not produced in adequate quantities in the U.S. or anywhere else outside of China, and would otherwise negatively impact U.S. companies and ultimately, American consumers.
One such request came from Cali, concerning Section 301 tariffs for select types of luxury vinyl plank flooring. Cali achieved the exemption through a collaboration with Congressman Scott Peters, U.S. Representative for California’s 52nd congressional district, where Cali is headquartered. The company approached the congressman in June to partner in their appeal to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
“Cali led the efforts to exclude LVP from the tariffs which began back in the Fall of 2018 and impacted the whole flooring industry,” said Doug Jackson, CEO of Cali Bamboo. “We’re delighted to learn our efforts paid off, and the U.S. Trade Representative granted our exclusion. This is good news for our industry, but namely good news for the customer who will maintain access to a high-quality product at a viable price.”
The exclusions will apply effective immediately and retroactively as of September 24, 2018 to August 7, 2020.
“We are grateful that the United States Trade Representative gave due consideration to our industry and granted exclusions on several of these products," said Harlan Stone, CEO of HMTX Industries. "This one-year reprieve from the 25% taxes will allow us to keep our products affordable to the American consumer and preserve the many jobs related to sales, distribution, installation and contracting that would have been negatively impacted. “Over 150 companies came together, many of which are competitors, to demonstrate the unique value of these products to the overall health of the flooring industry and the construction economy as a whole.”
LVT has been a driving force in the continual growth of the flooring industry in the U.S. over the past decade, contributing a very significant percentage of the industry growth in the past several years. Used in both residential and commercial settings, LVT is becoming an important choice for both renovation and new construction throughout all regions of the country. Innovation, in both performance and appearance, is one of the key contributors to this growth. These exclusions will help keep these products affordable for the American consumer.
For more information, visit ustr.gov.