25% Tariff Exclusion Granted for Click LVT Flooring from China

Washington DC, November 8, 2019--The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has granted an exclusion from Section 301 tariffs for select types of LVT.  The exemptions are effective immediately. 

Several companies had filed with the U.S. federal government to have this type of flooring excluded from the tariffs--which today are subject to a 25% tariff--on the basis that not enough capacity to supply the demands of this product exist around the world.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative released the following notice of product exclusions,

“...(3) Floor coverings of polyvinyl chloride, presented in the form of tiles or planks designed to snap together during installation (described in statistical reporting number 3918.10.1000) 

(4) Vinyl floor tiles of polymers of vinyl chloride, designed to click together during installation, each measuring 4.7 mm or more but not over 8 mm in thickness, 18 cm or more but not over 23 cm in width and 120 cm or more but not over 182 cm in length (described in statistical reporting number 3918.10.1000)

(5) Vinyl floor tiles of polymers of vinyl chloride, designed to click together during installation, measuring 7 mm in thickness, 18 cm or more but not over 19 cm in width and 120 cm or more but not over 125 cm in length (described in statistical reporting number 3918.10.1000).”

Cali Bamboo is the petitioner that was able to convince USTR to exempt the products listed above. And according to Doug Jackson, CEO of Cali Bamboo, his organization hired lobbyist Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania, who solicited the help of numerous senators and congressmen through letters.

“We are grateful that the United States Trade Representative gave due consideration to our industry and granted exclusions on several of these products.  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,” said Harlan Stone, CEO of HMTX Industries, and organizer of an industry wide group, The American Consumers and Workers Justice Coalition.  “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.”

According to Stone, The exclusion will apply retroactively as of September 24, 2018 to August 7, 2020.

The USTR is considering other requests for exemptions.