CFM Consolidated isn’t seeing smaller orders yet on the array of products the company manufactures, said Lisa Chissus, president and owner. But she fears customers will begin clamoring for discounts.
The company, a Fife, Washington-based manufacturer, exports a variety of plastics that are used in everything from engine-cooling products to fish hatcheries. One of the products, Cascade Plastics, which is the “C” part of her business, manufactures custom injection molding products for their business as well as others. The “F” stands for Flex-a-lite, which makes engine-cooling products for the after-market. And the “M” is for MariSource, which produces incubation systems for trout hatcheries, which are exported all over the world.
“We have competitors out of China who mimic our products, so the more strong the dollar becomes, the more expensive it is for them to buy our products,” Chissus said. “So if we can’t offer them a deeper discount then they’re going to take more of their business to offshore competitors, so we’ll lose revenue.”
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To add insult to injury, Chissus said the West Coast ports slowdown over the past year has also hurt her, with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association squaring off over labor issues, bringing the ports to a standstill.
Despite the expenses added with manufacturing in America, both small companies say they’re committed to being “Made in the USA.” The only question is how much that may cost.
“Fundamentally, because we have maintained our manufacturing in the United States, and that’s core to our values is to continue to do that here, I’m not trying to be the cheapest manufacturer for my customers. I will continue to try to be innovative,” Chissus said.
And Upstanding Bicycle’s Blake echoed that sentiment, adding that he doesn’t plan on lowering prices just yet, but will be flexible with overseas distributors.
“We will do what we can. We’re all in this together and want to be successful, not greedy.”