Washington, D.C.—The United States Trade Representative (USTR) decided not to include floor covering among items granted exemption from the Section 301 tariff.
Exclusion from the tariff—which was enacted in November 2019 and applied from Sept. 24, 2018 to Aug. 7, 2020—exempted many rigid LVT products from the 25% tariff.
As the Aug. 7 deadline loomed, some retailers say they brought supply at the lower cost; others say the cost differential—even at a 25% tariff—is not enough to dissuade consumers from buying WPC and SPC flooring.
“The tariffs have not slowed the consumer’s demand for LVT,” said Mike Foulk, owner of Foulk’s Flooring America, Meadville, Pa., citing the typical retailer reaction.
In some instances, retailers say consumers are doing price comparisons among LVT-sourced products, with some choosing domestic products or those sourced from countries other than China.
Currently, industry observers say there is no effort being made to have the exemptions reinstated at this time.