Tariffs to Hurt Aggregates Equipment Manufacturers

Machinery used by aggregates operations is on a list of Chinese imports that will be subject to a 25 percent duty beginning July 6, according to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA). The United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced a list of Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes that classified hundreds of goods subject to the increased tariff.

The list includes seven entries under subheading 8474, which covers machines and equipment parts used in aggregate production (sorting, screening, separating, washing, crushing and grinding). 

NSSGA submitted comments to the USTR requesting that subheading 8474 be exempted from the additional duties. This request was denied, and USTR is expected to publish the process for requesting an exemption in the next few weeks. The agency is also expected to open comments soon on additional 284 HTS codes being considered for a 25 percent duty.

“It’s frustrating to see additional economic burdens placed on the small businesses who help create our infrastructure system,” said Ashley Amidon, senior director of legislative affairs. “NSSGA will continue to oppose any additional tariffs on the industry.”

“Imposing tariffs places the cost of China’s unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers and ranchers. This is not the right approach,” said Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

On June 14, nine major construction industry organizations sent separate letters to Senate leadership and the Trump administration opposing recently implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada, the European Union and Mexico. 

Signatories Included the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, NSSGA, the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance, the American Concrete Pipe Association, the National Utility Contractors Association and the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

The letter to the U.S. Senate is in support of Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-Tenn.) bipartisan legislation (S. 3013) that would require congressional approval of tariffs deemed national security-related under Section 232 of the of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

In the letters, the trade organizations expressed opposition to the tariffs on steel and aluminum, particularly highlighting the impact it will have on equipment prices. “The tariffs on Canada will result in a shortage of the raw materials used to manufacture construction equipment while driving up costs for contractors and other customers who purchase the machinery,” the groups wrote.

The groups cautioned policymakers that the tariffs will only exasperate delays in manufacturers meeting customer equipment demand. The organizations stated, “The tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico will further disrupt the supply chain, resulting in delays in product completion, an increase in costs for equipment purchasers and inadequate quantities of new construction equipment to help rebuild America.”

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