The SBA Office of International Trade Does More Than You Might Think…
|Illinois small manufacturer beats the odds by utilizing SBA’s resources|
SBA’s Office of International Trade provides U.S. small business expert trade counseling services, in addition to access to financing and grant funding to support global sales. We recently assisted Serola Biomechanics of Loves Park, Illinois which faced a unique challenge as the company attempted to re-shore production of one of their newer product lines, initially manufactured in China.
Serola designs belts and braces for back and joins support, and pain relief. Unfortunately for Serola, the re-shoring decision came just before additional Section 301 tariffs were announced in response to the U.S. Trade Representative’s investigation into China’s unfair trading practices. Serola pushed hard to complete re-shoring prior to the tariffs going into effect, but due to factors beyond their control, it didn’t happen. By the time critical tooling equipment was put on a boat, tariff costs had risen from 3% to 25%.
SBA found an exception for specific types of tooling under certain tariff codes and instructed Serola on what was needed to determine if the exception could be met. As it turned out, Serola did meet the requirements to use the exception. By relaying this information to Serola, the company was able to complete the importation at the former 3% rate.
Serola’s President, Tom Person recalls, “It was a scramble to get everything done right and some long hours were required by everyone here, but it saved us thousands of dollars in the end. I couldn’t be happier with the result and the work done by those at the SBA.”