I have worked in the plastics Industry since 1978. I have seen good times and bad. I think that now we are facing our hardest challenge and that is from China. China: the word sends panic through the plastics industry.
All I hear is that President Bush's leadership is responsible for this problem. Well, I need to tell you it is not his fault, but President Clinton's. He sold us out to the Chinese years ago. All is not lost yet. There are things that we can do to help ourselves.
The following three things need to be addressed to stop the flow of jobs and goods to China. The first thing is to increase the tariffs on imported goods from China. The second is to adjust the dollar vs. the yuan. The third is the plastics industry needs to increase profit margins by modernization. This will allow us to reduce per-unit costs.
The first two changes need to be addressed by our government, but we need to write members in the government and explain the needs of our industry. The third is up to us. We need to get out of the 1990s with both our thinking and our equipment. I know that we all have older equipment that is not energy efficient. We have higher maintenance costs and low molding efficiency. By upgrading our equipment the operating costs would be lower and the molding efficiency would also be higher. In general, we would become smarter molders.
I know that these changes will impact some of the companies that are currently doing business with China by reducing their profit, but in the long run it will be better for both the United States and the plastics industry. But until we all group together we do not have a chance.