Around four years ago, sizable contract losses were becoming apparent and extremely concerning at Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. I watched as approximately 30% of our business in silica fabric sales began to disappear. As President and CEO of AMI, I wanted to get to the bottom of what was happening.
After a thorough investigation, we discovered that a similar product imported from China was being sold to our competitors for up to 30% less than our silica fabric. I knew that something had to be done or the problem would only continue to grow. After much deliberation, we decided to file an Anti-Dumping case with the Department of Commerce.
Auburn Manufacturing vs. Imports from China
After 18 long months and approximately one million dollars, the Department of Commerce ruled in favor of Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. It’s been just over one year since we won our case against the Chinese manufacturers who were dumping heat-resistant textiles into the U.S. market.
Although this victory is one to be celebrated, there’s still quite a bit of concern in regards to the future of our industry, and the survival of smaller manufacturers in the U.S. who face a competitive global market.
Case Recognition By CNBC
I guess AMI was ahead of the curve on this one! Our Anti-Dumping case against China received very little press last year when silica fabric imports from China were hit with duties up to 300% as a result. But, now that the Trump administration has hit China with tariffs up to 25% on metals and other goods, our story was deemed worthy of an interview by CNBC. View CNBC Interview.
Kate Rogers did a great job explaining how small manufacturers are harmed by predatory trade practices (including over 20 government subsidies), and how expensive it is to fight back. The cost is prohibitive. If we can find a way to support companies in bringing about these actions, we can defend and regain manufacturing jobs in America. Read More of the CNBC Interview with Kathie Leonard.
Rebuilding After Revenue Loss
We continue to feel the impact this dumping had on our business. As a result of the revenue loss, our company was forced to lay off 10 hardworking individuals. Since our case was won, we have been able to rebuild some of our losses and hire 7 new employees. Of course, repairing this damage has not taken place overnight. We won our case but there are many more hurdles to overcome.
Auburn Manufacturing Inc. will continue to be an advocate for ethical trade practices, and for other small manufacturing companies within the United States. We are extremely proud to have taken this to the Department of Commerce, showing others how they can defend their hard work.