NIBLEY – Malouf and other bedding companies that import some of their goods are under fire from a group of mattress makers who claim imported products and supplies are causing them to have a rough time.
“There are several suppliers that are filing a suit with the International Trade Commission that imported mattresses are giving their competition unfair advantage,” said Scott Carr, marketing director at Malouf. “The other manufacturers are claiming we are selling mattresses below value, causing lost jobs, which is not true.”
He said they have a lot of facts and figures to back up what they are doing. The companies filing suit supply and/or produce major mattress brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Serta, Simmons, Sealy, Casper, Purple, and Tuft & Needle.
“We want our community people to contact their local legislator and help us fight this case,” he said. “While most of our workforce are all working at home, we have supplied 10,000 beds to help the COVID-19 cause,” he said.
This is an unfortunate time to submit a petition like this.
“Mattress importers will be negatively affected if this petition goes through, we estimate up to 12,000 jobs will be lost,” he said.
Malouf alone has 500 employees and there are about two dozen other companies that will be out of business. There are other companies that will be affected the same way.
“There will be shipping, trucking and warehousing jobs that that will feel this kind of thing,” Carr said. “There are 330 families employed at our headquarters that support the communities they live in.”
Malouf also has several local non-profits that could feel the loss like CAPSA, Underground Railroad, Internet Crimes Against Children and more.
“Malouf would like to stop the initiative and do business as usual,” he said. “There are eight countries where mattress are manufactured that were targeted: Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, Serbia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia—representing 80% of all mattress imports in the U.S in 2020.”
News agencies are reporting that beds are one of the most essential medical devices hospitals need now.
COVID-19 projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation indicate American hospitals will not have 87,674 hospital beds and 19,863 intensive care unit beds in time to save lives.
If this ITC case reaches the preliminary hearing on April 21, it ends U.S. importers’ ability to supply mattresses to help throughout the pandemic.
“If we shut down the supply of hospital beds, the immediate effect would be catastrophic as more and more hospitals and emergency centers are calling out for more beds,” said Michael Roizen, MD, emeritus chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic. “We are in this for the long run and should be planning for additional peaks later this year and into the future.”
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said, during a global health crisis, this kind of opportunistic corporate warfare could cost many American lives.
“This is not the time to be restricting these supplies,” he said.
“We are in the process of converting doctor office exam rooms into patient rooms to care for COVID-19 infected patients at this critical time,” Matt Poyma, account manager for a leading healthcare equipment company, said. “Our normal suppliers could not meet the urgent need for beds and we had to look elsewhere for these critical supplies.”
To learn more about the American Mattress Alliance and this issue, visit americanmattressalliance.org.