WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Commerce (DOC) last week amended its preliminary tariffs for several Chinese manufacturers of metal wire hangers. As a result, many importers’ rates will be cut in half.
The DOC’s antidumping decision collects a deposit based on the discount off Fair Market Value (FMV) each Chinese manufacturer sells its hangers. Shanghai Wells Hanger Co. is subject to the lowest rates, 33.9%, and 13 companies that were charged an 89% tariff beginning in mid-March will now be subject to a 45.69% tariff.
Domestic distributors that ended production in the last five years are scrambling to reintroduce U.S. manufacturing. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Laidlaw Corp., for example, announced last month it has signed an agreement with Shanti Industries to begin the manufacture and sale of domestically produced hangers and poly bags from plants in Monticello, Wis., and Lake Forest, Calif., immediately.
“We now have the ability to provide our customers high-quality, cost-competitive products manufactured [in the U.S.] in addition to offshore facilities,” says Tom Schultz, president of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company. “We intend to rapidly expand U.S. capacity to serve the needs of our longtime customers and afterward, offer product to the rest of the market.”
More than 90% of operators responding to the Wire survey say that the cost of hangers has gone up since DOC announced its preliminary tariffs March 20. Almost half of operators report that prices for basic shirt and strut hangers are up more than 50%; some report that per-box prices have more than doubled since the determination.
Industry associations estimate that operators will have to increase prices 5% to 20% in order to cover the increase in supply costs, and cost-conscious consumers have started to wonder when the tariffs will hit their pocketbooks.