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July 9th, 2018
I want to begin my comments on the tariffs that the United States Commerce Department have imposed to let every reader know that I am passionate about this topic and have a strong personal and a professional opinion.
Over the years technology and communications have moved global and at this point we have no chance to slow down this process. Those that try to change the path towards globalization are fighting the tide, wind and weather, which is an impossible task.
As a country we may have negotiated poor deals with many other countries, and I believe that most people would agree with this. It is easy to understand that any agreement made between any two parties need to be revised, over time, due to unexpected consequences as a result of changes in technology, demographics and economic dynamics.
Tariffs on imported Steel- I want to be clear. I am specifically interested in Tinplate. Tinplate is very thin gauge flat rolled steel with an electro coated surface of tin. Tinplate was developed as a corrosion resistant surface for cans used for the preservation of food products.
Steel is 100% recyclable and can be used in any steel application without losing its strength or characteristics.
Today the can industry has evolved in many directions:
General Line and Sanitary cans use tinplate because it is required for the long term protection and security of the products packaged. There is no better package to secure these products than steel.
Specialty Cans- It is truly hard to define a specialty can other than it is a can that the largest can makers tend to no longer want to manufacture. The reason that the large can companies do not want to make them is that the volume or market demand is small requiring short runs and many changeovers.
Tinplate Globally: Steel companies around the world make tinplate. Tinplate as a product line is only about 3% of global steel production. No integrated steel company has tinplate as their primary product nor could they survive producing only tinplate.
Would Independent Can Company like to buy 100% domestic Tinplate? The answer is absolutely YES.
Independent Can has submitted about 40 requests for exemptions for the tin plate we need to manage our business. As of the writing of this article we have no disposition for or against these exemption requests.
As a specialty can maker we are proud that we have been able to thrive in a very competitive market place. Many of our competitors have closed their plants and have moved to the importation of tins. We remain focused on Made in the USA solutions as being demanded by many of our year round customers that are supportive of investment. We have great employees that are both talented and skilled. We have invested in the finest equipment that will allow us to meet our customers’ needs and demands for quality containers at globally competitive prices.
We thank our customers for their loyalty and their understanding in these trying times. Please call and ask questions.
We are working hard to get the message out: (Please see the video interview)