Published On: Wed, Dec 28th, 2016

Foundry Industry Cries Foul, but Some Thrive

The metal casting industry of the United States is looking forward to the new year, according to its chief advocate, the American Foundry Society (AFS), whose President Jeff Cook said that, with the new administration and new faces in Congress, “it is time to begin addressing new challenges.”

Metal casting is a $28.5 billion industry that has been taking some hits in recent years despite being so essential to the nation’s industry and, according to Cook, a component in 90 percent of its manufactured products. The AFS presentation included a litany of complaints about what they see as a competitive disadvantage for foundries in the United States.

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Although the word China was not mentioned in Cook’s remarks in late November, concerns about possible mergers and acquisitions of U.S. foundry businesses have clearly had an impact, according to a report in Market Realist, in confidence in the nation’s leading role in the industry.

Chinese investors (FXI) have been rumored for more than a year to be seeking acquisition in a stake of GlobalFoundries, which bills itself as the “world’s first semiconductor foundry with a truly global and technology footprint.” One reason for fewer customers for foundries, Market Realist reported, were about $100.6 billion in mergers and acquisitions in 2015, according to corporate dealmaker, Dealogic.

“U.S. metal casters continue to face significant trade challenges from foreign government trade-distorting policies and practices,” Cook stated in his hopeful announcement. “A more aggressive U.S. trade policy is needed to combat these practices in order to preserve and strengthen our nation’s manufacturing base.”

AFS also used the occasion, through CEO Doug Kurkul, to announce its concern about OSHA rulings that they believe have cost the industry billions. Other concerns expressed were unfair tax regulation and a failure to invest more in infrastructure, which represents a major part of foundry production.

Author: Anwar Hossain

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