In late December, the Trump administration unexpectedly imposed a 25 percent tariff on injection molds imported from China, a decision that industry observers said could hurt U.S. interests. Mold Manufacturing Company, but helps with plastic processing in the United States.
The statement by the U.S. Trade Representative means a 25 percent tariff on injection molds as part of the first round of $34 billion tariffs on Chinese imports. Suspended for at least one year.
USTR did not explain its decision, but a lawyer in the mold industry said it could be a response to more than 200 requests from plastic injection molding companies, many of which are in the U.S. locomotive supply chain, to exempt its specific mold imports.
The statement by the Office of the United States Trade Representative is broader than the mold, eliminating tariffs on about 30 different types of imports. Molds are the largest plastic-related category.
"I believe they have received requests from many companies that the mould be duty-free, so the government decided to exclude all the molds," he said. Instead of spending resources on Indianapolis, said H. H.Alan Rotanbuecher, a lawyer at the Indianapolis American Mould Association (American Mold Builders Association), "everyone is asking for a mold exemption. No one knows exactly why, but that's my point. "
Many told the USTR that they could not plan a 25 percent tariff because it took months to procure the molds and because the contracts for the molds were signed before discussing tariff details.
Platicom, for example, asked for a "one-off exclusion" of molds ordered from China in late 2017 for a U.S. carmaker project.
"because of the timing, size and technical requirements of the U.S. launch, it is unable to regain the focus of U.S. suppliers," the company said.
It said the 25 percent tariff would "make the economy very difficult" and could force it to cancel its multi-year contract with the carmaker and risk 600 workers working in one of the plants. Ants from Kentucky.
Other companies, including KeterU.S.Inc., a maker of plastic household goods, have come up with a similar view, arguing that higher mold costs would reduce the competitiveness and job risks of their U.S. manufacturing industry.