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WATCH NOW: Mrvan testifies against mattress imports
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WATCH NOW: Mrvan testifies against mattress imports

Mrvan testifies against mattress imports that hurt domestic steel industry

U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, speaks in the U.S. House chamber earlier this year.

Leggett and Platt, which makes steel wire used in mattress components at Merit Steel in Kouts, and the United Steelworkers union have petitioned for antidumping and countervailing duty orders on mattresses from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan, D-Highland, testified before the International Trade Commission against imports of mattresses that he said hurt  domestic industry.

Leggett and Platt, which makes steel wire used in mattress components at Merit Steel in Kouts, and the United Steelworkers union have petitioned for antidumping and countervailing duty orders on mattresses from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. The tariffs would raise the price of the imports so the foreign manufacturers.

Green Door Books is writing its next chapter. The used bookstore, known for its art shows, $1 books, extensive zine library and namesake green door, is moving to a bigger spot in downtown Hobart after the local chain Toys in the Attic bowed out.

"I believe that one of the reasons that there is a great divide in our nation is because too many workers feel left behind. In the case before you today, imports of mattresses in the United States increased by 52,000 percent from 2018 to 2019, resulting in the loss of over 350 jobs and the closure of businesses. These were good-paying jobs that are part of an industry with a solid U.S.-based supply chain," Mrvan testified. "It is not right, and it is not fair to those workers, and those families, whose lives are upended because companies in countries far away from their homes are cheating and exporting their unemployment to our great nation. We must do more to protect the livelihoods of every single worker in our nation."

The United States imported $1.1 billion worth of mattresses last year, mainly from China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, according to the International Trade Commission.

The United States still produces $4.8 billion worth of mattresses, including in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

"Together, through our dedication and commitment to a thriving economy with fair rules for all, we can ensure that all American workers can compete on a level playing field with the understanding that when others violate our trade laws that the U.S. government will fight for them, for their families, and their communities," Mrvan testified.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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