Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

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Cymen
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Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by Cymen » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:54 pm

When I first heard of the potential new US tariffs on goods from China, I was curious if lathes/mills would be included. Today, I read an article on CNN titled US proposes tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods and it had a link to the complete list of items:

Docket No. USTR-2018-0005

I searched for "lathe" and "mill" and found:
84581100 ........... Horizontal lathes (including turning centers) for removing metal, numerically
controlled
84581900 ........... Horizontal lathes (including turning centers) for removing metal, other than
numerically controlled
84589110 ........... Vertical turret lathes (including turning centers) for removing metal, numerically
controlled
84589150 ........... Lathes (including turning centers), other than horizontal or vertical turret lathes, for
removing metal, numerically controlled
84589910 ........... Vertical turret lathes (including turning centers) for removing metal, other than
numerically controlled
84589950 ........... Lathes (including turning centers), other than horizontal or vertical turret lathes, for
removing metal, other than numerically controlled
84591000 ........... Way-type unit head machines for drilling, boring, milling, threading or tapping by
removing metal, other than lathes of heading 8458
There is likely more. But my thought in posting is that if you're considering buying a Chinese manufactured lathe or mill, it might be a good idea to do so sooner than later. Note that I'm keeping this non-political in the interest of our best interests (machining) not politics. Hopefully, we can talk about this in that spirit.

If I'm wrong about this applying to the type of lathes/mills hobbyists might buy, that would be great to know. I am thinking of those offered by Grizzly, Precision Matthews, etc.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:14 am

Some of these taxes seem pointless. The Chinese compete in some areas where the US has given up, so we would be taxing types of goods Americans don't manufacture. It won't increase sales of American products, but it will hurt American businesses and consumers that want these products.

We're never going to see American-made manual lathes again, in any kind of numbers. The old guys who keep banging that drum are out of touch with reality. Also, many people who can afford $6000 Chinese mills will never be able to pay for new Bridgeports or Laguns. They'll be stuck with used junk, or nothing.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:19 am

I'll bet these taxes end up benefiting India.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by mikeehlert » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:30 am

IMHO, we will see a general round of price increases in new machines regardless of origin. Might even - possibly - support the used market a bit. Every marketing person looks at the other guys price list and as soon as they see an opportunity they start positioning for a price increase.

A company I consult for is seeing price based competition from European companies who have moved production to China. Sad but so many customers will select vendors on price alone when the salesman says it will work. Nobody will pay a premium for performance or quality beyond basic utility. Personally, I am old enough that I will not be participating in any China facilities startup.

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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:44 am

Tariffs don't work unless they're high enough to hurt and discourage buyers. I wonder how much the prices will go up.
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BadDog
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by BadDog » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:57 am

Sadly, more than once I've seen worse garbage from "premium" brands than what could be bought with better quality at or near the bottom of the price range (Danaher vs Griz/HF).

But back to the tariffs. I don't know nearly enough to understand all the complexities, but it seems to me that the political flag waving point is bringing jobs back. Like the tax code changes, that can be successful in some areas, though alone it isn't enough to override other dominating motivators in many areas. But while I fear the consumer impact of the proposed tariffs, something needs to be done about the disparity between just about every other country vs the US regarding import tariffs.

While we were coasting on the inertia of our past GNP glories as we transitioned into a "service based consumer economy" (oxymoron?), following the grossly unbalanced trade model did yield short term benefits (see MBA comments in another thread) to consumers, but ultimately logical conclusion is that it had to end either in trade war (since the imbalance is now the accepted norm, don't rock the boat!!!) or with the US becoming a semi 3rd world economy. I say "semi" because it seems the general downward shift from super power to 2nd or 3rd world nation results in a huge disparity between the ever more stratified lower income largely unskilled working class masses and the (generally technical) lower-upper class group. Most of the blue collar middle class moving to lower with a handful of the more industrious pushing into the lower upper, this eliminating a practical middle class. If the trade imbalance continues unchecked, then it seems to me that pattern will continue until it reaches (more) completely unsustainable levels.

So at this point, based on my limited understanding, I don't think we really have any sane choice other than (risk? guarantee?) a trade war, and live with the consequences, which include higher priced consumer goods which will be very painful compared to what we have come to expect. And I'm afraid that means a return to the way things were in 50s through 70s and 80s when capital goods (like machine tools) were not affordable for hobby use. It wasn't so much the cheap Chinese (etc) product that made the difference, it was the huge imbalance in trade overhead that made the most difference.

The likely trade war will make things more uncomfortable for a while, but if the outcome is a balanced (hopefully more sustainable) trade system, I don't think we'll ever again see raw materials (steel, aluminum, etc) or products (like import lathes, mills, HF, etc) at such affordable prices to provide a relatively low entry point to this hobby. However, it could help stop the increasing near caste system stratification we are seeing forming now.

If things go the way I expect, I think 10 years from now folks will be talking of rebuilding a clapped out Chinese import lathe the way they talk about rebuilding a Clausing or the like as an entry point machine now. Griz and others will have no choice but to move closer to the price range of current players like Victor (lower end industrial), or drop below the HF level, which will still be higher than the current Griz prices.

This last 20-ish years may well become known as the golden age (final age?) of the machine tool hobby. Even now I remember when it was cheaper to build things from steel than wood, and that has already passed into history. Soon, amature/hobby fabrication may also become completely impractical...
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Atkinson_Railroad
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:16 am

Indeed a HOT topic that many are discussing. The Practical Machinist forum board has a couple different
threads going full tilt on the tariff subject with one surpassing over 600 replies.

You’ll find plenty to fuel, or help in forming further opinion on the topic at the URLs below.

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/ma ... -a-348253/

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/ma ... ho-347327/

As for the subject being non-political, that rings like saying discuss “chips”, but don’t mention any machining.

Our draft dodging threaten-er and chief, Mr Bonespurs Dennison says trade wars are easy to win.

I guess we all get to hurry-up-and-wait… at seeing what actually really happens.

Thanks for bringing up the topic Cymen. Welcome to the board.

John

Post Script:
I just remembered I have some photos that were captured in a steel mill outside of Chicago while doing repair work there in 2012.
For me, it metaphorically illustrated how the gears of the steel making [machine] in the United states fell off a long time ago.
Attachments
IMG_3859 GEAR.jpg
IMG_3860 GEAR.jpg
IMG_3861 PINION.jpg

John Hasler
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by John Hasler » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:43 am

John writes:
> I just remembered I have some photos that were captured in a steel mill outside of Chicago
> while doing repair work there in 2012. For me, it metaphorically illustrated how the gears
> of the steel making [machine] in the United states fell off a long time ago.

Got any photos of a Nucor mill?

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:49 am

Without taking the obvious anti-Trump bait, I will say I have thanked God for his miraculous election many times. I am sure his presidency, like all others, will have bad as well as good consequences.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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Atkinson_Railroad
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:56 pm

Hi John,

No photos inside a Nucor mill. I do see there is plenty of You Tube content depicting Nucor’s more modern
and cleaner facilities. And non-union too!

Steve, the written word is filled with “bait” on many levels as I think about your reaction and reply to what I wrote earlier.
Would it be fair to say you sent some obvious religious bait in your return comment?
On November 3, 1968 I received my revised standard version of the Holy Bible from the Methodist Church School.
I was only 8-years-old at the time, and 50 years later, I still cherish its reference.

I agree with you that presidencies like all others will have bad as well as good consequences.

This tariff issue is a fascinating one for me to keep an eye on because today, in the year 2018, it’s
impossible to produce a complex product by relying upon any one country for all of its necessary components.

Senator Charles Grassley (R) said today that, “The administration knew that if it imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, China would retaliate against U.S. agriculture. I warned President Trump as much in a White House meeting in February.”

The American Chemistry Council, a lobbying group, says China’s threatened tariffs would come down hard on U.S. chemical companies.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican said today, “The tariffs could affect Missouri’s ability to export food abroad…”

The American Soybean Association, a lobbying group that says it represents 21,000 U.S. soybean producers, says China’s proposed 25-percent tariff on soybeans would be “devastating” to U.S. farmers.

Ford and General Motors are calling for continued discussion to resolve rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China. And evidently BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla are noted as being the biggest potential losers from higher Chinese tariffs on U.S. auto imports.

As a model maker, in order to faithfully reproduce an item from a prototype subject, every view and angle must
be studied carefully and decisions made for a successful outcome.

When viewing and reading multiple sources from the far right… through the center… on to the far left,
a fairly plausible picture can be rendered of this tariff debate. And most opinions appear to be indicating tariffs
are not going to produce a successful outcome.

Perhaps by June, we’ll better understand the fallout if there ends up being any.

Thanks again to the new forum member for bringing up the topic.
(Just maybe we can keep the pad lock and key out of Harold’s hands a bit longer to read what other
metal working hobbyists think ; )

John

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BadDog
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by BadDog » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:17 pm

I don't know nearly enough to sift through all the noise, or find solid references amongst the political background, but it is my understanding that a large imbalance on trade tariffs exists between the US and many/most nations, particularly China (and Europe, etc). I also recall seeing those tariffs increased in recent years, with little more than a whisper from the US in general, though exporters (mostly Ag) complained quite a lot with nobody listening. So how is it that the US introducing tariffs that (as I understand it) still don't match Chinese import tariffs cause for all this concern? Other than it's been allowed to go on for so long, it's become the status quo so we hear all about this "brinksmanship" (and other derogatory words) leading to trade war, markets plunging, and all the rest. It will hurt the US consumer as well as US businesses, particularly if it does come to a "Trade War". But so did WW1 and WW2 (having painful impact, not the same by any means), but in spite of the painful consequences, sometimes you simply have to dig in and fix a stubborn problem. Letting it go on and on letting other nations do as they please with no effective response hasn't resulted in a sustainable relationship by any means. I don't know enough to make the call, but maybe it's time to rip off the bandaid...
Russ
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Purposed US tariffs on imported lathes/mills from China

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:35 pm

Atkinson_Railroad wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:56 pm
Would it be fair to say you sent some obvious religious bait in your return comment?
No, it wouldn't. I think that's obvious.

I said I thanked God Trump was elected and acknowledged the likelihood that his presidency would have some bad consequences. You said "Our draft dodging threaten-er and chief, Mr Bonespurs Dennison." We are not playing on the same level.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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