Today marks the start of US trade tariffs on goods valued at $34 billion worth of imports from China. A list published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) details the 818 tariff lines that will be subject to an additional 25% in duty.
China has responded with additional import taxes on US goods valued at a similar amount. 3D Printing Industry contacted resellers, manufacturers and other 3D printing insiders around the world for their thoughts about how the “the biggest trade war in economic history” will impact additive manufacturing.
So are the trade tariffs a threat, opportunity or a distraction?
3D printing and additive manufacturing have completely changed modern supply chain practices, especially in consideration to manufacturing. Proposed tariff increases will likely accelerate this impact. Additive manufacturing has become more common in every industry including the production of fasteners. These added tariffs could accelerate the automation currently taking place as well as put pressure on 3D printing manufacturers to make their printers use as little material as possible. Businesses are always challenged with finding new solutions to adapt to a changing environment whether it be legislation, consumer wants/needs or economic factors. In this case, these tariffs could encourage fastener manufacturers to invest in additive manufacturing to keep the need for costly raw materials as low as possible. Effected fastener companies who would invest in 3D printing may be eligible to take advantage of the Research and Development Tax Credit.