Hot Off the Press
Small Business Committee Hears
PMA-Member Testimony On Tariff Harm
Thursday, July 25, 2002
Members of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) testified in Washington, D.C., to share their experiences as steel consumers dealing with the harmful effects of the tariffs imposed on imported steel. Congressman Donald Manzullo, chairman of the House Small Business Committee, agreed to conduct a hearing on the unforeseen effects of steel tariffs on American manufacturing after receiving more than 200 letters from PMA members detailing their stories of unreasonable price increases, broken contracts, unavailability and business lost to foreign competition.
Among those who testified were PMA members David Pritchard, president and CEO of A.J. Rose Manufacturing Co.; Robert Herman, machine technician, A.J. Rose Manufacturing; John Grove, vice president-procurement, Cold Metal Products, Inc.; Merle Emery, vice president and general manager, G.R. Spring & Stamping, Inc. and Michael Tanner, president, Wren Industries, Inc.
The tariffs, imposed to provide relief to U.S. steel producers, are taking a heavy toll on steel consumers and threaten the already fragile economy, according to testimony. As Merle Emery told the committee, “With the increased cost and decreased supply of available steel, our service centers have broken their long term commitments to supply us with steel. This has forced us to buy from the spot market to obtain the steel we need. As a result, our price of steel has increased 20 to 30 percent.”
In the case of Cold Metal Products, Grove told Congressman Manzullo that the increases constitute “more than a 30 percent price increase and is the largest increase in a six-month time span ever seen by Cold Metal since its founding in 1926.”
The price increases have caused consumers to lose business. Emery explained, “Soon after the tariffs were put into effect, G.R. Spring lost a major contract with a well-established customer of ours to a Canadian company.” Grove told of Cold Metal business lost to England and China, and he anticipates more lost business in the future due to the tariffs.
David Pritchard explained that A.J. Rose manufactures air bag and other automotive components used in motor vehicles running at very high RPMs, thereby requiring very particular grade specifications. Pritchard emphasized, “U.S. producers are unable to produce products meeting the guaranteed tight tolerances and unique characteristics without significant retooling and diversion of their production line. In fact, when we have contacted domestic mills, they have declined to even provide us with a quote.”
Grove concluded his testimony with the following: “We have done everything we can do to be successful in a very demanding marketplace. The effort to save the U.S. steel mills, however, should not sacrifice companies like ours.”
Vibration Isolation Products Forms New Division
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
Vibration Isolation Products of Texas, Inc., Houston, TX, has formed a new division, VIP-TX, to market a line of spring and elastomer shock and vibration isolators and seismic-control products. Typical applications include plant machinery and equipment. The product line includes aluminum- and steel-housed springs, open springs, steel-housed seismic spring isolators, rubber compression mounts, and rubber and steel pads.
For more, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Texas Metalworking & Industrial Show
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
The North Texas Metalworking & Industrial Show 2002 is slated for October 23-24, at the Mesquite Convention Center in Mesquite, TX. The show, a production of SMC Events, offers equipment and services for product and manufacturing engineering, quality control, production and automation, and machining as well tooling and tool manufacture.
For more information, call 210-832-8444 or visit www.smc-events.com