Government Imposed Harmonized Tariff Increases – Versalift Response
The recently revised harmonized tariff schedulesignificantly increases the cost of imported steel and aluminum to American manufacturers. The recently revised tariff exclusions, however, present an opportunity for American manufacturers to work harder finding trade partners and avoiding passing price hikes on to the customer. WTO trade sanctions are forming the underpinnings of what could become a trade war, in which Versalift chooses to not participate.Steel prices in the United States are approaching an all-time high. This has many American manufacturers who use imported steel, and their customers, feeling justifiably concerned about a potential trade war, and feeling nervous about their bottom lines. Despite the uncertainty currently felt by the industry, Versalift is employing efficiency measures to offset costs in the wake of recent US announcements of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The impact of these cost increases will almost certainly be felt at Versalift, as the company’s products are made almost entirely of steel and aluminum.
- Products of iron or steel provided for in the tariff headings or subheadings enumerated in Note 16 to this subchapter, except products of Canada, of Mexico, of Australia, of Argentina, of South Korea, of Brazil, or of the member countries of the European Union or any exclusions that may be determined and announced by the Department of Commerce – 25%
- Products of aluminum provided for in the tariff headings or subheadings enumerated in Note 19 to this subchapter, except products of Canada, of Mexico, of Australia, of Argentina, of South Korea, of Brazil, or of the member countries of the European Union or any exclusions that may be determined and announced by the Department of Commerce – 10%
While it is clear that the new tariffs, imposed on steel and aluminum, will impact the production costs of many major American manufacturers, there has been a wide and varied response to them. Some other manufacturers in the utility equipment industry are raising prices or adding surcharges, passing along the increased costs to their customers.
Versalift Workaround – Customers First Initiative
Versalift is part of a group of American manufacturing companies that is exploring ways to avoid passing the costs on to their customers. Curt Howell, CEO, sees a number of opportunities to improve and refine the work that Versalift does. With several new senior managers, all of whom with extensive experience in manufacturing, the company is looking inward.
Howell is leading Versalift through a shift in culture, and toward greater manufacturing efficiency and refining its processes. The company is pushing itself to optimize by reducing waste, improving first-time manufacturing quality and maintaining a perfect safety record. “We are going to do everything in our power to avoid raising prices on our customers though our costs will certainly be impacted if this continues. We see this as an opportunity to leverage lean manufacturing and find profitability from processes, not material costs.” Howell recently introduced a modern “Glass Wall” initiative into the 60 year old company.
An American manufacturer of utility equipment, Versalift supplies a global clientele and strongly supports fair trade practices. Versalift is committed to doing everything it can to maintain its excellent value proposition, and to continue offering the safest, most reliable and highest quality bucket trucks, cable placers and digger derricks available on the market.
To see if you qualify for discounts through our newly re-established NJPA relationship, please visit https://versalift.com/government