Tariffs Affecting the Mold Building Industry

Current Call-to-Action

ALERT! USTR Requests All Producers to Request that China 301 Tariffs Be Continued

The AMBA must mobilize its members to demonstrate support for keeping the mold tariffs in place, and we need for you to take action and tell the U.S. Trade Representative to continue the 25 percent tariff on molds from China.

The U.S. mold manufacturing community helped the AMBA succeed in 2019 when over 150 of our member companies sent comments to the U.S. Trade Representative calling for an end to the tariff exclusion and reinstatement of the 25 percent tariffs on imported Chinese plastic injection molds. This victory helped protect our industry and we need you to mobilize again.

By July 1, 2022, we need you to submit a one question form supporting continuation of the 25 percent tariffs on molds, dies and tooling from China. 

Submit the Form Here

The Biden administration in May began asking for stakeholders like the AMBA to comment on whether to continue the tariff action on China. USTR at this time is only asking for input from those who support continuing the tariffs, which is why we need you to act now.

If we succeed, the U.S. Trade Representative will keep the tariffs in place while it undertakes a full review; if we fail to show sufficient support, the government could lift some of the Section 301 China tariffs on July 6, 2022. 

Filing Comments Submission Guide

We have created a how-to file comments guideline (attached) to help you fill out the form. USTR is gauging support for continuing the tariffs and the single question asked is to describe your industry and how you have benefited from the 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. If you know the Harmonized Tariff Code (HTS) for the product you manufacture, (Plastic Injection Molds is 8480.71.80), please reference the HTS code in your comments. Check the box if you support the tariffs and submit.  

Note that USTR may make the comments public and at this time they are only accepting input from those who support the tariffs, not general comments. Please keep your comments focused on the tariffs and, if available, reference the product you manufacture. 

Pressure is increasing on President Biden to lift the tariffs, which is why we need you to act now.


In July 2018, the U.S. implemented a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, including molds and mold bases. This tariff was subsequently suspended at the end of December, a decision that is ultimately hurting U.S. mold builders as it is now significantly cheaper to source and build tools in China. This means that in the U.S., mold shops are forced to reduce their workforces and, in some cases, close their doors. 

The mold building industry is vital to the U.S. economy - molds are a critical part of tooling and tooling is essential for the manufacturing of all durable goods in the country. For this reason, the American Mold Builders Association has engaged with Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm, The Franklin Partnership, to speak for the industry in the nation's capital and help policymakers make informed decisions about imposing tariffs on imported plastic injection molds from China. Together, these organizations will lobby the White House, Congress and policymakers to support U.S. manufacturers against low-cost imports from China. 

To visit AMBA's members-only tariff updates, resources and any current call-to-action, visit here.

China Mold Tariff Facts

On July 6, 2018, the U.S. government implemented a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports (Tranche 1), including molds and mold bases. The tariff was subsequently suspended in December 2018. 

Why was the tariff lifted? The tariff was lifted because it was cited that there was a lack of U.S. mold shop capacity. This is inaccurate, as U.S. mold capacity in 2018 ranged from a high of 81% to a low of 77%, demonstrating that capacity is not the issue.

Key Issues 

Dumping - Chinese-owned shops sell molds to U.S. manufacturers up to 40% below the cost of molds produced in a domestic shop.

Progressive Payments - Most Chinese-owned shops receive progressive payment terms from U.S. manufacturers with 90% of the tooling cost paid prior to tool shipment. This compares sharply with the 55% of U.S.-based mold builders receiving progressive payments.

Intellectual Property Infringement - The mold is the science behind the part. By quoting molds in China, U.S. companies are sending detailed drawings of parts/products, creating an opportunity for IP infringement.

AMBA Mold Builder Call to Action

In November 2019, AMBA submitted a call-to-action for members of the mold manufacturing community to file comments, explaining why they were for or against the exclusion of tariffs on Chinse plastic injection molds. Subsequent announces and calls-to-action have led to the continued reinstatement of U.S. tariffs on Chinese molds, for the purpose of protecting the interests of the U.S. mold manufacturing industry. 

To see past and current messaging, documents to submit, press releases, publicity and more, visit this members-only page

Interested in having your voice heard regarding the tariff issue? Email info@amba.org or call the AMBA offices at 317.436.3102.