Expanded Tariffs Creating Additional Challenges for New Pulaski County Manufacturer

Expanded tariffs on Chinese products are adding to the list of challenges facing a new plastics manufacturer near Winamac. IBC Thermoplastics plans to make jerrycans at the old Anvil & Saw property on County Road 200 South.

Pulaski County Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer told the county commissioners Monday that the company was dealing with issues with electrical capacity and an equipment manufacturer in China, when the federal government expanded the tariffs. “Setting aside questions about whether tariffs are good or bad or in-between, it’s not really ideal when it’s a product that he had to buy in China because no American company was building this sort of thing,” Origer said. “So he’s gotten hit with an extra $30,000 to $35,000 in capital expenditures he was not anticipating.”

Now, IBC Thermoplastics is asking for a partial forbearance on the $200,000 loan it received from the county’s Revolving Loan Fund. The commissioners agreed to let the business continue making interest-only payments for up to another year beyond the program’s usual six-month limit. “He’s due to go up from about $800 to $2,000 a month,” Origer said, “and so we’re trying to help him to make sure that – because I would rather the loan get less money coming in at one time than his default, then we’d be stuck with a piece of property and a machine we can’t even access because they’re still holding onto it until he pays customs.”

Origer noted that the business owner continues to make improvements to the site, while Origer is reaching out to both U.S. senators’ offices and the Department of Commerce to see if any assistance is available.