If you’ve ever washed your hands or changed your child’s diaper in a public restroom, it’s likely you’ve encountered goods crafted in America by Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., since its founding in 1906, Bobrick is the world’s leading manufacturer of restroom accessories for commercial building owners, and the company markets its products under the Bobrick, Gamco and Koala Kare brands. It manufactures products in California, Colorado, New York, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
While selling extensively throughout the United States, Bobrick has been able to grow by expanding its global focus. Bobrick exports restroom accessories to more than 100 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America, including all Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries, and has operations in the United Kingdom, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Australia.
According to Alan Gettelman, Bobrick’s vice president of external affairs, “Free trade agreements have lowered many of the tariff and non-tariff barriers that Bobrick has faced overseas, allowing us to improve access to these markets and increase our competitiveness. The elimination of all manufacturing tariffs under the TPP would level the playing field for our company’s exports to these countries, allowing us to boost sales of products crafted throughout the United States.”
To illustrate the importance of the TPP for Bobrick, consider the company’s SureFlo automatic soap dispensers, which are manufactured at its Los Angeles, Calif., facility. Imports of soap dispensers currently face duties of 24 percent in Vietnam, 5 percent in Malaysia and 5 percent in New Zealand.
As another example, Bobrick’s grab bars are manufactured in Clifton Park, N.Y., and face import duties of 20 percent in Vietnam, 5 percent in Malaysia and 5 percent in New Zealand.
And consider Bobrick’s Koala Kare brand baby-changing stations and child-seating products, which are manufactured in Denver, Colo., and face import duties of 25 percent in Vietnam and 5 percent in New Zealand.
Finally, take Bobrick’s restroom mirrors, which are manufactured in Jackson, Tenn., and Durant, Okla., and currently face duties of 34 percent in Vietnam, 30 percent in Malaysia and 5 percent in New Zealand.
All of these tariffs, and thousands of others, will be eliminated on U.S.-manufactured goods exports when the TPP is fully implemented. Bobrick will be able to see substantial savings immediately on many of its exports to these markets, and most of the duties facing its exports will be eliminated within four years of the TPP’s entry into force.
The TPP will also eliminate other discriminatory barriers faced by Bobrick and other manufacturers in TPP countries and will improve Bobrick’s ability to export through more transparent and streamlined customs rules. All in all, the TPP will help level the playing field for Bobrick and other manufacturers across the United States, helping U.S. manufacturing increase sales and support jobs right here at home.
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