Federal tax policy is forcing the metalworking industry into "unvoluntary liquidation," National Machine Tool Builders Association President James A. Gray has claimed.
Gray said the capital stock in his industry will continue to deteriorate unless the "10-5-3" accelerated depreciation plan or something like it is enacted.
Businessmen are holding their breath and holding back new machine tool orders until the anticipated speed-up of depreciation allowances begins, he said.
Gray also criticized the Carter administration for its refusal to allow the metalworking industry to expand exports to communist-aligned nations.
According to Gray, half the world market for metal-cutting equipment outside the United States lies within the socialist countries, yet U.S. manufacturers are capturing only 1 percent of these sales.
The national security implications of such increased trade were minimized by Gray, and he said much of the technology and tools on display at the current International Machine Tool Show in Chicago by other Western nations is available to the socialist states.
He pointed out that much of that technology already is in their hands. "It's asinine that we can't sell machines to Hungary that they have on display at the show," Gray said.
That technology increasingly is embracing the electronics industry.