President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to impose tariffs on various goods from several different nations, first in the European Union and Canada and now in China, has been met with criticism from his critics (as well as free-trade Republicans) — but also praise from his staunchly-aligned base. The tariff battle with China may have one particularly devastating, unintended consequence for the music industry.
According to the iconic synthesizer manufacturer Moog (via Synthopia), the 25% tariffs on Chinese goods — including circuit boards and associated components essential to the production of their instruments will have a massive impact on the industry. The tariffs are expected to go into effect on July 6, 2018.
Earlier today the Asheville, North Carolina-based instrument manufacturer released a statement regarding the potential effects of the tariffs on their company and others like them around the United States. The letter explains how the tariffs will likely cause a major increase in the cost of production of their instruments and could even result in the layoff of workers.
Even worse, the letter suggests that a worst-case scenario could involve the manufacturer being forced to move some or all of their production overseas to avoid the increase in manufacturing costs. In a form letter sent to customers and posted on Facebook, the company explains that about half of the circuit boards and other components involved in the production process come from China. The letter adds that while the company tries to purchase from U.S. circuit board manufacturers, even paying up to 30% the cost for the exact same product — even then much of the raw materials are sourced from the Chinese market.
The company asks, in a letter sent to their customers and posted on Facebook, to implore elected officials to condemn and (hopefully for Moog), reverse the tariffs. The company particularly aids their North Carolina customers by providing the contact information for Representatives Mark Meadows and Patrick McHenry as well as Senators Richard Burr and Tom Tillis. The form letter points out that Moog is an employee-owned, mid-sized company of 100 individuals that has operated for 60 years in the United States, the exact kind of American company that these tariffs are intended to protect.