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US/China Tariff Update: What it Means for Bearing Prices

October 16, 2018 by Christine Berlly

If you’re in the manufacturing world, then you are undoubtedly aware of the ongoing tariff situation developing over the past year. The US government has announced a 25% tariff on nearly 6,000 product categories, which includes multiple bearing and power transmission products. Some of what we currently supply to you may be impacted by this action.

Situational recap

The first scheduled tariff of 25% on approximately $34 billion worth of Chinese imports (818 tariff lines) went into effect on July 6, 2018. The main AST product groups impacted were ball and roller bearings made of steel and alloy steel.

The second tariff tranche was effective August 23, and resulted in an additional tariff of 25% on approximately $16 billion worth of Chinese imports (279 tariff lines). The main AST product groups affected were plain bearings, which includes spherical plain bearings, rod ends and bushings.

Finally, a third set of products was added on September 24, resulting in an additional tariff of 10% on approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese imports (5,745 full or partial tariff lines). Starting January 1, 2019, the level of the additional tariff on these products will increase to 25%. All AST product groups imported from China are impacted following this update, including: ceramic and ceramic hybrid bearings, housed bearings, and bearings with integral shafts.

What it means for AST products

Due to this government mandate, AST will have no other option but to increase prices on all existing and new purchase orders by up to 25% for affected product under the provision of Force Majeure.

We understand the burden that this situation can cause to your budget and want to work with you to help alleviate the costs. We encourage all customers to speak with their sales contact at AST to explore options. In some cases, sourcing alternative bearings from countries outside of China will be a viable alternative.

We will do our best to keep you informed and mitigate the effect of the government action. In the meantime, if you have any additional questions concerning the tariff, please contact your AST salesperson.


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