US Manufacturers Face Surplus of Unsold Face Masks Due To China
Since China has taken over the market with its inexpensive version of facemasks, the US manufacturers are stuck with an excess supply. This has resulted in hundreds of millions of unsold facemasks and thus the manufacturers are now calling the US President for help.
With cheaper alternatives of face coverings available in the market, US manufacturers are facing an overload of unsold masks. When the pandemic took over, there was a shortage of many items including protective gear and facemasks. Facemasks became a necessity and thus countries had to double triple the production overnight in order to meet the growing demand.
Similarly, the US manufacturers rushed the process of manufacturing masks to meet the excess demand. However, now one year down from the pandemic these manufacturers are stuck with an excess of unsold masks with people opting for cheaper versions. It is China that has flooded the market with inexpensive facemasks, thereby causing the demand for US-manufactured masks to go down.
The US manufacturers might not survive the end of the pandemic given the fall in the demand because of below-cost Chinese alternatives. Keeping the well-being of such manufacturers in view, a trade group of twenty-six small manufacturers has reached out to President Biden for help.
The manufacturers have expressed how half of their production or even more would be propelled offline if instant federal aid were not given.
In the letter, the group of manufacturers, the American Mask Manufacturer’s Association have apprised the US President that many manufacturers would lose their jobs. The letter mostly holds the unfair trade practices by the foreign countries, especially China responsible for this. According to them, such practices are threatening the sustainability of the manufacturing industry of the US and their efforts to prepare for future pandemics.
The association stated that their annual capacity to manufacture N95 masks and surgical masks is 1 billion and 3.7 billion, respectively. However, at present, they have around 260 million surgical masks stockpiled in the warehouses, as they are unable to sell them. An additional 20 million N.952 too are on the factory shelves.
Last year when the pandemic was new and countries did not know how to fight it, there was a shortage of almost everything. The items that were scarce the most were protective gears and facemasks, which resulted in their prices surging. However, as countries multiplied production for those items they were manufactured in unlimited amounts, thereby crashing the prices.
Hospitals and the general public alike are now looking for the lowest possible prices available in the markets. The items from China are giving them the same thing but at a comparatively lower cost. A box of surgical masks that were once for $50 is now being sold at $5. This says a lot about how the market dynamics have changed in a time span of a year.