Combating Supply And Cost Uncertainties In The “Age Of Trade Wars”
One cannot read the news lately without coming across some discussion of the back and forth currently going on with respect to punitive tariffs being imposed by one county or another on imported goods. Whether one agrees with these policies or not, we will all have to deal with the wide-ranging tentacles that global trade has on our day to day lives.
Over the past couple of days, the US government imposed a number of broad ranging tariffs on imported goods that directly impact the types of products that Vanguard produces. These tariffs cover everything from rubber tubing and hose, to gaskets, to the machinery used to produce these types of products themselves. Though on surface this may appear to be a windfall for our products in the US, there is bound to be some level of retaliation, and as a global supplier of our products to Europe and the Far East, we need to be prepared to deal with the consequences of these actions.
In addition to the direct effects, some of the actions have had indirect effects on supply channels causing prices for raw materials to increase unexpectedly.
At Vanguard, our overall philosophy has been to be globally competitive through innovative materials, engineering, and production techniques without having to count on government intervention or low cost imported products. With our 50+ years of know-how in engineered elastomers, we have been able to be cost competitive with our wholly US manufactured products on a global scale. Even with these newly imposed tariffs, our goal and focus will remain the same, without taking advantage of these political situations to scrape out some level of desired price increases.
If your off-shore supplier of tubing, seals, or gaskets becomes non-competitive, or if you experience new “timeliness of supply issues” with them as a result of these events, we stand ready to supply you with economical alternatives immediately.
With any luck, the tough talk and posturing will calm down soon, and a sense of normalcy will return to the global markets as opposed to the turmoil that currently exists. We have not yet reached that point, however. In the meantime, as it is up to us as manufacturers to put plans in place that allow for competitive, reliable supply of products to service our customers.