The inventor of the twist tie is trying to trigger a tariff against Chinese competitors, complaining that they’re underselling due to currency manipulation.
Bedford Industries, which introduced the extruded-plastic-and-wire closure in 1966, has filed suit with the International Trade Commission and Commerce Department, seeking a tariff on imported Chinese twist ties. It’s suing under a provision to trade law enacted by the Trump administration this year, allowing manufacturers to demand a tariff if they can show they’re being undersold by an overseas competitor due to currency manipulation.
Bedford is the first manufacturer to sue China under this provision. If they’re successful, it could open the door to more suits, against China and other overseas competitors.
The CEO of Bedford told the Wall Street Journal that he had noticed the Chinese cutting into the market about five years ago, and he really became suspicious when a Chinese company got a contract with a food processor for half of what his company had to charge.