Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) manufacturer Taizhou Huali New Materials Co. Ltd. will invest $27 million into an existing production site in Murray County, Ga., and create 315 new jobs as it establishes a U.S. headquarters for its floor covering products.
Founded in 2002, the Taizhou City-based company manufactures LVT, stone plastic composite and wood plastic composite flooring sold under the name Huali Flooring. Sales were $360 million in 2018, the company website says.
The flooring manufacturer has two "production bases" that total 4.6 million square feet and more than 2,000 employees. It exports 90 percent of the products to North America and Europe, the website also says.
A U.S. manufacturing site is being established to support customers, Philip Yuan, president of Huali Group, said in a news release.
"Our USA headquarters and manufacturing facility will further support our commitment in bringing world-class service and quality to our customers," Yuan said. "The strong flooring community that the Northwest Georgia area embodies was a determining factor in our commitment, and we want to be part of that spirit."
Among U.S. states, Georgia is the No. 1 exporter of floor covering products, with the majority of businesses located in the northwest corner of the state. In 2019, the total export value was $485.4 million.
In December 2019, Nanjing, China-based GreenView Floors International Inc. said it will invest $26 million in a manufacturing operation for vinyl and laminate flooring in Adairsville, Ga., creating 238 jobs.
The subsidiary of Nanjing MGM New Material Co. Ltd. also is renovating a vacant building for its first U.S. manufacturing site.
A couple months ahead of that announcement, several U.S. LVT manufacturers, such as Calhoun, Ga.-based Mohawk Industries Inc. and Mercerville, N.J.-based Congoleum Corp., were pressuring U.S. officials to impose 25 percent tariff duties on Chinese LVT to boost American manufacturing.
A Mohawk executive said imports from Asia, mostly from China, made up 55-70 percent of the U.S. LVT market. He also said China exported $1.7 billion worth of LVT to the United States in 2017.
However, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative removed some LVT from China tariffs without explanation. Trade officials apparently agreed that tariffs would hurt U.S. consumers more than they would help domestic manufacturers.
Hauli Floording says it will ship products from Georgia via the Port of Savannah and the Appalachian Regional Port in Murray County.
"Huali's projected volume will be handled with efficiency and precision," Wesley Barrell, Georgia Ports Authority regional manager of strategic operations, said in the release.
Huali Floors plans to begin hiring June 8 to fill administration, manufacturing, and research and development positions in Georgia. For more information, go to https://murraycountychamber.org/hfusa/.