Associations representing thousands of tool, die, and industrial plastic mold manufacturers throughout the United States have welcomed the release of a fact-finding study that assesses the increasingly difficult state of America’s tooling industries. The study, Tools, Dies, and Industrial Molds: Competitive Conditions in the United States and Selected Foreign Markets, was conducted by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) at the request of the US Congress’s House Committee on Ways and Means.

Spokespersons for the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), the American Mold Builders Association, the Tooling and Manufacturing Association (TMA), the Tool and Die Summit from Northwest Pennsylvania, the Coalition for the Advancement of Michigan Tooling Industries, and the D-M-E Co., expressed cautious optimism that the study would draw attention of federal and state lawmakers and Bush Administration officials that would lead to legislation or other positive action.

“While we obviously need an opportunity to review the report in its entirety, we believe the ITC’s thoughtful and comprehensive study will serve to heighten awareness of the steady and continuous demise of the nation’s critical tooling sector,” says Dan Jepson, president, Jepson Precision Tool and a founding member of the Tool and Die Summit from Northwest Pennsylvania.

NTMA president Matt Coffey says the study can prove to be an important step forward, if the tooling associations and coalitions continue the collective and cooperative effort demonstrated to date. “I believe we all recognize that if we fail to remain unified as associations and coalitions, we will ultimately be failing our respective members,” he said.