By Ken Ryan
Wellmade Performance Flooring has been granted tariff exclusions by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on its Chinese-made LVT products.
The exclusions, granted in May 2020, include Wellmade’s HDPC rigid core SQEDGE dryback vinyl plank (other versions of vinyl LVT dryback are not covered) and HDPC rigid core locking strand woven bamboo.
“We are very excited to have received exemptions from tariffs covering Wellmade’s entire family of HDPC rigid core products, including vinyl, hardwood and strand woven bamboo,” said Dick Quinlan, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Wellmade. “Continued tariff relief will benefit all companies producing or trading in rigid core HDPC/SPC-style flooring products.”
The exclusion on Wellmade HDPC products is in addition to exclusions previously granted to Cali Bamboo.
The HDPC strand woven bamboo exclusion is the only exclusion granted for rigid core strand woven bamboo products. The exclusion extends to other similar SPC core strand woven planks that fit within the product description listed in the federal register, Quinlan said.
These exclusions, retroactive to Sept. 24, 2018, provide Wellmade with the opportunity to recover tariffs paid previously in these categories. The Wellmade products are included within the USTR’s $200 billion trade action (List 3), which is scheduled to expire on Aug. 7, 2020. The USTR has created a website asking all concerned parties to submit comments in support of extending exclusions granted between August 2019 and May 2020.
The deadline for submitting extension comments on the exclusions granted on Wellmade’s requests is July 7, 2020. Quinlan said comments in support of extending exclusions granted to Wellmade would benefit all flooring companies producing or purchasing similar HDPC/SPC vinyl planks and strand bamboo products. Comments can be submitted here.
What the tariff exclusion covers
HDPC vinyl planks locking and SQEDGE rigid core dry back (no tongue and groove)
Floor coverings in the form of planks or tiles of vinyl with cores of high density plastic composite or stone polymer composite, each with a surface layer measuring at least 0.1mm but not more than 0.8mm in thickness, the whole measuring at least 2mm but not more than 8mm in thickness, at least 12.5cm but not more than 61cm in width and at least 30cm but not more than 153cm in length, with edges that are interlocking or simply cut at a 90-degree angle.
Wellmade HDPC locking strand woven bamboo with vinyl backing
Laminated flooring consisting of a bamboo surface layer in thickness, laminated onto a base of high density plastic composite or stone plastic composite, each plank measuring at least 7mm but not more than 9mm in thickness; at least 126mm but not more than 204mm in width and at least 30cm, but not more than 214cm in length, with locking edges and vinyl padding.