Like politics and religion, you can add trade tariffs to the list of taboo topics at the dinner table. Supporters believe we need to take tough action against China’s abuse of trade barriers and intellectual property ownership. Opponents believe we can only thrive through free and open trade on a global basis. I see merits to both points of view, but I know that we will have to pay the price for decades of neglect when it comes to trade policy.

Case in point: the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) officially increased the tariff rate on several products from China. “List 3,” as it has been referred to, raises rates from 10% to 25% on included products received June 1, 2019, or after. Meanwhile, China is already retaliating with its own tariff increases on imports from the U.S., starting June 1.

Of course, the fenestration industry is not immune to these issues. There are components and materials imported from China that could be affected. However, as part of the increase, the USTR indicated they will open an exclusion request process. Last year, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) was successful in getting some components excluded from “List 1” and they are already making plans to go to bat for us again.

The View from Here is: we are fortunate to have an organization like WDMA working in Washington for the benefit of door and window manufacturers. My hope is that these issues will be resolved swiftly and more normal trade can resume between the U.S. and China.

You can learn more about WDMA’s efforts at www.wdma.com.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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