With incomprehension, the German tool manufacturers respond to the punitive tariffs announced by the United States in the amount of 25%. These duties are expected to take effect on 18 October and will be in addition to the already high US import tariffs. The punitive tariffs are a reaction of the US to EU subsidies for the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, which were declared inadmissible by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“It is completely unacceptable that the small and medium-sized German tool manufacturers are now drawn into this conflict of the subsidized aircraft industry,” said Michael Kleinbongartz, Chairman of the Association of German Tool Manufacturers FWI.
The USA is the most important export market with 8.5% share of the exports of the German tool industry. Experts believe that due to the punitive tariffs in the US German tools, despite their high quality, are virtually unsalable. “This will hit some companies hard, especially at the present time, where the economy in Germany is weakening as well,” fears FWI Director Stefan Horst.
Further injustices arise from the fact that only selected tool groups such as pliers, axes, scissors and screwdrivers are affected. Also, the punitive tariffs should apply only to German, but not to other European manufacturers, although Airbus is a European joint venture. “Perhaps these selective punitive tariffs are also a reaction to the success of German manufacturers in the US market and the current trade conflict is only a welcome excuse,” says Stefan Horst.
The FWI has already contacted the Federal Ministry of Economics and hopes for political support.