With the deadline approaching for a government hearing, the American Mold Builders Association has presented its case against foreign competition.
The association, based in Roselle, Ill., entertained four members of the Washington-based International Trade Commission on April 22-23 at its offices. The group shared information about the current state of the U.S. mold-making industry and the impact of offshore molds.
The ITC is investigating competitive conditions, with a final report due Oct. 21 to the House Ways and Means Committee.
AMBA prepared a report profiling U.S. mold makers and presenting some of the key issues facing the industry, AMBA national President Scott Harris said in an interview April 24 at the Mold Making 2002 exhibition in Rosemont. ITC members also visited several tool shops April 23 and then attended the mold exhibition.
``We'd like to learn as much about the industry right now as we can,'' said Dennis Fravel, international trade analyst for the ITC. ``It will help figure into our analysis.''
The group is holding hearings May 21 for toolmakers interested in discussing market conditions and foreign competition. After May 7, the group will schedule witnesses for the hearing and consider breaking the group into panels for discussion, Fravel said.
Toolmakers have until May 30 to submit written statements to the ITC. The government group also plans to conduct a survey of toolmakers that should be sent out in June, Fravel said.
Both AMBA and mold-components supplier D-M-E Co. of Madison Heights, Mich., conducted their own surveys of mold makers in March and April. Those findings, not yet released publicly, are expected to be presented at the hearings.
AMBA made certain to present a reasoned case for the industry's importance, said Harris, president of Harris Precision Mold Inc. of Tempe, Ariz.
``We gave them an analysis of our industry without a lot of whining and whimpering,'' he said. ``We wanted them to know that toolmaking is the genesis of manufacturing in this country, and we are really hurting from offshore competition.''
The mold-making group does not expect regulations governing mold imports to come from the ITC investigation, Harris said.
``We just want to build awareness and a better understanding of our industry,'' Harris said. ``It's always good to have a chance to get your voice heard in Washington. You never know where that might lead.''