Larry O’Connor, CEO of OWC —a North American producer of solid state drives (SSDs), Thunderbolt external drives, PC & Mac docking solutions and performance upgrade kits — has issued the following comments on the May 30, 2019, statement from the White House regarding proposed new tariffs on imports from Mexico:
“OWC was founded over 30 years ago, and has grown to become one of North America’s leading manufacturers of parts, accessories and performance upgrade kits for Macs and PCs as well as other consumer electronics,. We employ over 200 team members in the Chicago metro area as well as dozens in Asia and Europe, and in recent years have been able to continue to shift traditionally Asian-based manufacturing to a manufacturing partner’s North American facility in Mexico across from Brownsville which employees more than 400 team members. Our long-term strategy has always involved shifting as much of our manufacturing as possible to the United States and Mexico, and we have watched with optimism the positive progress of the USMCA agreement.”
“OWC can weather the impact of a short-term 5-percent import tariff on the consumer electronics products we manufacture in our Matamoros facility, and more than likely we can do so without raising our retail prices to our hundreds of thousands of customers around the world,” continued O’Connor. “The impact, however, of a longer-term 25-percent tariff on Mexican imports could be devastating to our business , our customers and the hundreds of team members in Mexico.
“What should be equally alarming to the White House and the Administration, is that surprise moves like these sudden tariffs cast a shadow over our long-term North American manufacturing strategy. As the Administration knows all too well, businesses require a level of consistency and predictability to operate successfully, and unforeseen moves like this cause business leaders to consider manufacturing options and cost structures that are sustainable longer term. If the proposed tariff situation regarding Mexican imports is not resolved quickly, OWC will have no choice but to reconsider our overall North American manufacturing strategy.”