New CEO Says Manitowoc Does NOT want Tariffs
August 11, 2020 - Crane Hot Line has obtained a letter that the Manitowoc Company's new president and CEO, Aaron Ravenscroft, sent to dealers and customers today regarding the Department of Commerce's Section 232 investigation into mobile crane imports into the United States.
Ravencroft's letter says clearly that Manitowoc does not want tariffs as a remedy, since imposing them would only make an already difficult market worse for everyone.
Ravenscroft lists three much more positive alternatives for stimulating demand: enhancing Buy/Hire American provisions for federally funded projects; increasing infrastructure funding; and providing grants for local research and development in the crane industry.
Here is the full text of Ravenscroft's letter.
August 11, 2020
Dear valued customer:
Last night, Manitowoc filed our final comments in the Department of Commerce’s investigation of mobile crane imports. As I previously communicated, Manitowoc filed a petition to request that Commerce investigate the impact of mobile crane imports on the domestic crane industry to ensure we are able to compete on a level playing field. Driven by foreign exchange rates and other factors, the industry has seen a significant increase in imports over the last decade while our export of cranes from the U.S. has declined 80%. We do not believe that the U.S. trade situation is fair, and as a result our domestic workforce has been reduced over 40 percent.
Moreover, we believe the most effective remedy would be for the President to take concrete steps to stimulate demand, particularly for U.S.-produced mobile cranes by;
(1) Enhancing Buy America/Hire America provisions for federally funded construction projects – these projects are funded by American taxpayers and should benefit the hard-working factory workers who pay those taxes.
(2) Increase infrastructure spending. It has been more than a decade since the U.S. funded a major overhaul of our existing infrastructure. This would boost demand across our entire industry, and infrastructure spending is one of the few issues on which both major political parties agree.
(3) Provide grants for local R&D in the crane industry. We believe that these remedies would help stimulate demand in the crane industry as well as advance the industry with new technology that is developed in the U.S.
Manitowoc is not requesting tariffs as a remedy. In the current environment, we believe that tariffs would inhibit crane demand and further deteriorate already difficult market conditions.
Manitowoc is the only remaining 100%, American-owned crane company, and we have been close partners to the U.S. military since 1961. Cranes are essential to our country, and we are simply requesting that the government level the playing field in an industry where we believe that the trade policies favor foreign manufacturers – our request is simply a step to defend our local workforce and to ensure the long-term viability of our company.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.