Trade Policy: Always Looking Out for the Consumer
NPR -- If you think your dry cleaning bills are high now, hang on. Wire hangers are getting more expensive due to import tariffs on cheaper hangers from China. So dry cleaning operators are asking customers to return their hangers to help keep costs down.
A flood of cheap Chinese hanger imports in recent years has forced all but one major U.S. hanger manufacturer out of business. M&B Hangers in Leeds, Ala., hung on.
In 2006, U.S. shipments of wire hangers were valued at $40.39 per 1,000, compared with $31.69 per 1,000 for shipments from China, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. Last year, the United States imported 2.7 billion wire hangers from China — up 52% from 2006.
Since the tariff was imposed, nearly every dry cleaner in the U.S. has had to pay more for hangers, on average about $4,000 a year.