Keep and increase tariffs on China, forgers urge Biden administration – Crain’s Cleveland Business

by admin on January 29, 2023

More than two dozen U.S. manufacturers of forging filed formal comments with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) calling on the Biden administration to retain and increase the current tariff rate of 25% on imported Chinese forgings. USTR accepted comments from the public through Jan. 17 on the tariffs as it undergoes a statutory requirement to review the Section 301 tariff action after four years.

“The message to USTR is that the tariffs are helping America’s forging industry and 71% of respondents to our survey told us they added business directly due to the tariffs on Chinese forgings,” said Forging Industry Association (FIA) president and CEO James Warren. “The White House and Department of Defense identify U.S. forgings as a critical part of the supply chain, this is why FIA and its member companies filed comments with USTR, to send a message to President Biden to keep the tariffs in place.”

FIA members also provided invaluable input to USTR with their own filings, reinforcing the role the industry plays in economic and national security. U.S. forging businesses have the capacity and ability to meet current and future demands, as highlighted in comments filed by individual companies.

“The level of competition we face from State-Owned Enterprises (in China) remains one of the largest threats, not just to our company and industry, but to all of American manufacturing,” said Chelsea Lantto, president of Trenton Forging Co. in Trenton, Michigan, and 2023 chair of FIA, in her company’s filing. “Since the tariffs have been imposed, we have seen a huge increase in the number of companies interested in reshoring their supply chain to America. If USTR lifts the tariffs, that interest will die, and our customers will return to mainly buying from China,” Lantto continued.

“The Section 301 actions are absolutely necessary and should remain in place at current or even higher levels because the actions are the best leverage the U.S. has to counteract the unfair trade practices, and intellectual property theft China has been conducting against the U.S. businesses for more than 20 years,” said Willard “Will” Walker, president and CEO of Walker Forge in Clintonville, Wisconsin, and past FIA chair, stated in his filing with USTR.

FIA will continue to work with the Biden administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to educate them on the benefit of the Section 301 tariffs on the U.S. forging industry.

James Warren

President and CEO

Forging Industry Association

Independence

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