On May 7, the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) filed formal comments with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) asking it not to lift Section 301 tariffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic for HTS 8480.71.8045, plastic injection molds imported from China.
“We believe the sheer number of mold manufacturing establishments in the [United States] clearly counters any arguments made by those requesting an exclusion that no domestic alternative to Chinese mold imports exists,” stated AMBA Managing Director Kym Conis.
AMBA demonstrated to the federal government that the United States has 1,439 mold building establishments, nearly $500 million in open mold building capacity, and a current utilization rate of 68%.
AMBA maintains a public member directory, which identifies 138 U.S. mold building manufacturers listed as suppliers to the medical industry, an industry that is currently at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even prior to the pandemic, the American mold building industry had sufficient capacity to address pre- and post-coronavirus demand,” said Conis. “As an integral part of the medical device and PPE supply chains, mold builders across the country remain open and continue to produce the vital equipment and devices needed.”
In July 2018, the U.S. government imposed a 25% tariff on imported plastic injection molds from China. A 12-month exclusion from the tariffs was granted to U.S. importers on Dec. 28, 2018. In December 2019, USTR permitted the exclusion to expire, reinstating the 25% tariff on the molds that appear on List 1.
American mold builders are committed to helping ensure that physicians and other health professionals on the front lines have the PPE and medical devices and equipment needed in the battle against COVID-19, said AMBA. The association emphasized that it looks forward to working with the Trump administration to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and ensure American mold builders continue to provide thousands of jobs across the country, supplying plastic injection molds for decades to come.