The China Furniture Association yesterday called allies in the United States - including importers, retailers and consumers - for help in fighting anti-dumping claims from US manufacturers. The group said it was market forces which set prices and not the government. 'After 20 years of reform, the furniture industry is run completely on market lines. There are virtually no state firms left,' the association said. 'More than 90 per cent of producers are private, foreign-owned and stockholding companies. It is the market that determines investment, hiring, production levels and prices.' In response to complaints from domestic manufacturers, the US Department of Commerce on December 11 started an anti-dumping investigation into imports of Chinese wooden bedroom furniture, which last year were worth US$1.4 billion, half of the $2.82 billion of Chinese furniture exported to the US. If the Department of Commerce finds in favour of the US companies, it can impose anti-dumping duties of 158 to 440 per cent on the 135 Chinese companies involved. Nearly one million people are employed in the production of the furniture and related businesses. It is the biggest anti-dumping action brought against China.