Moog Speaks Out On Trump Tariffs, Fears For Their Effect On U.S. Synth Manufacturing

first_imgRecently, synthesizer manufacturer Moog Music Inc. has denounced the 25% tariffs on Chinese electrical circuit boards and components by U.S. President Trump, which will take effect on July 6th. The company has noted that the tariff will increase the cost of building a synthesizer, putting the company at a disadvantage against other international manufacturers and threatening jobs among U.S. synth makers. With many U.S. companies priding themselves on being made in the U.S., those companies may be forced to relocate outside the country or have the bulk of their production done in China.As noted by Moog, 50% of all the components with a Moog synthesizer are from China. With such a high percentage of components coming directly from China—and therefore subject to the new tariffs—it’s easy to see why Moog and other U.S. synth companies will struggle to stay competitive with the tariffs enacted. Immediately, the tariffs could cause layoffs and force individual businesses like Moog to fold. In the long term, the tariffs could threaten the viability of production of U.S.-made synthesizers. These tariffs will not affect completed synthesizers that were fully made in China and exported to the U.S.Recently, the North Carolina-based company posted an open letter on its website, calling for fans and customers to speak out against the tariffs and write to state representatives to convey their opposition. As they explained,We need your help. A U.S. tariff (import tax) on Chinese circuit boards and associated components is expected to take effect on July 6, 2018.These tariffs will immediately and drastically increase the cost of building our instruments, and have the very real potential of forcing us to lay off workers and could (in a worst case scenario) require us to move some, if not all, of our manufacturing overseas.There is one thing all of us can do together to try and stop this: Write to our elected officials.They also attached a fully written form letter for advocates to use, which notes that Moog synthesizers have been used by Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, and many others. You can check out the full form letter below, and head to Moog’s website here for full instructions on how to get involved.Dear (Congressman or Representative):I am writing you on behalf of Moog Music, a company of 100 employee-owners, based in Asheville, North Carolina. I am urgently contacting you about the recently announced 25% tariff on Chinese goods.In case you are not familiar with Moog, they manufacture the world’s leading analog synthesizers used by artists including but not limited to Michael Jackson,The Beatles, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder and many others.Roughly half of the circuit boards and associated components for Moog’s instruments come from China. This tariff would significantly limit their ability to manufacture synthesizers, and could put many of their employee-owners out of a job.As an employee-owned company with a 60-year legacy in American manufacturing, Moog constantly strives to keep a balance between domestically- and internationally-sourced parts, so that they can continue employing people from their local community in Asheville, North Carolina.Moog sources circuit boards from US suppliers whenever possible, paying up to 30% over the price of the same circuit boards made overseas. However, whether they buy circuit boards in the US or overseas, the majority of the raw components still come from China. Therefore, Moog will be unable to avoid this substantial cost increase because of the tariffs.These tariffs will immediately and drastically increase the cost of building Moog instruments, forcing them to lay off American workers and will require Moog to move some, if not all, of their manufacturing overseas.I do not want to see the end of Moog’s 60-year legacy in American manufacturing. I do not want  their employee-owners left without jobs. I want American workers to continue have the opportunity to support their families and their community.I implore you to convince the President that these Chinese tariffs cause serious damage to American workers like those at Moog and to rescind them immediately.Thank you,(Your Name)[H/T Ask Audio]last_img read more

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Spielberg on Spielberg

first_imgWhat do a man-eating shark and a maniacal truck driver have in common? They both helped launch Steven Spielberg’s career. During an appearance at Harvard on Tuesday, the Oscar-winning director recalled the offbeat stars of his early movies and explained the bedrock influences behind his decades of notable filmmaking.Harvard President Drew Faust introduced the session, which was sponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center’s Rita E. Hauser Forum for the Arts, welcoming Spielberg as a fellow historian, and “as much an educator as an artist.”Center director Homi Bhabha oversaw the 90-minute conversation with the director, which included questions from the audience. Bhabha, who structured the evening around clips from Spielberg films, opened with a snippet from the 1971 TV movie “Duel,” about a motorist terrorized by the mysterious driver of a tractor-trailer truck.The film had a particular relevance because it was the first project Spielberg really “went after,” he said, and because he was “terrified of merging onto any freeway anywhere in the country.”“I didn’t relate to ‘Duel’ as something that might have happened to me, being bullied or anything when I was a child. I related to ‘Duel’ because I was terrified of trucks. And I thought ‘This is perfect. If they only give me the job, I know how to scare people because I know what scares me.’”He knew how scare people with his next movie, too. Many in the audience groaned when composer John Williams’ menacing score started during a clip from “Jaws,” the 1975 film that changed the way many beachgoers played in the surf. The film also revolutionized the movie industry. It was widely considered the first summer blockbuster and introduced studio executives to the financial power of a summer thriller distributed in wide release.Spielberg said he got the directing job by pitching the producers on the idea that “‘Jaws’ was ‘Duel’ on the water.”“‘I can do the shark like the truck, I swear.’ That’s exactly what I said … and they hired me.”Spielberg said he relates to the clip, in which a shark kills a boy, much differently today as a father than he did as a budding filmmaker looking to move the story along. “What really pains me is when the mom comes down [to the shore], and she can’t find her son. … Now I look at that, and it has an entirely different meaning to me.”But when he created that scene, he recalled, careful preparation was critical.“What I think is essential for filmmakers to really learn how to do … is to see the scene first in their head, figure it out almost mathematically, and then go out and shoot it.”The Ohio native’s interest in films came by way of his childhood love of crashing his electric toy trains together, he told Bhabha. “I had grown accustomed to the destruction … I couldn’t live without it.” When his father threatened to take the trains away if he continued to break them, Spielberg grabbed his father’s eight-millimeter Kodak movie camera and captured a crash on film instead.He never broke his toys trains again.“I watched that crash over and over and over again, and it sated me enough. And that was really the first movie I ever made.”He called his 1982 science-fiction film “E.T.,” about an alien left behind on Earth and his friendship with a lonely young boy, his “first truly personal film,” explaining how he combined a story about his parents’ divorce with the idea of an abandoned creature. The extraterrestrial was inspired by Spielberg’s prior work on the 1977 science fiction hit “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” by his boyhood fascination with the stars, and by his belief that “there’s no possible mathematical way that we ever could be alone in the universe.”At its core, Spielberg added, “E.T.” is a story of repair.“I also thought that if you could learn to love something that looks like [E.T.], then that opens your empathic pathways in all directions, including healing and repairing the damage done in a divorce.”Family, empathy, and reconciliation became familiar themes in his work, and he often offered audiences a resolution at the end of his films. For him, the period 1933 to 1959 constitutes the golden era of films, since most movies made then involve “stories that completely resolve themselves.”“I am a guilty party to wanting to complete the sentence by the end of the picture. The audience has made an investment, and I usually try to find some way to put a period on it.”Children are often key players in his films because they offer the audience an “unfiltered, genuine” perspective.His topical films, such as “Lincoln,” “Munich,” and “Saving Private Ryan,” developed out of his passion for history, instilled in him by his father, a World War II veteran who hosted reunions with other veterans in the Spielberg living room.“I got to hear stories about freedom and stories about sacrifice. … All of this … led me to a love of history, and I just became fascinated with it, all those values.”Asked by Bhabha what will happen to filmmaking when the “public audiences for cinema diminish” as viewers gravitate to newer technologies, Spielberg was optimistic, insisting that there will always be a place for movies “in some form or another as a public communion.”“There may be a different technology, but we are always going to come together to have the experience. I can’t imagine any time in the near or distant future where people are going to want to be entertained or informed by themselves or with just one or two people around. We’re a society that needs company.”Offering hope to young directors in the audience Spielberg said he frequently finds new talent via the Internet, which he called “a huge theater to audition who you are and what you have to say about yourself in the world.”He also said he ignores technique in favor of storytelling, searching instead for “people who are saying something to us that we don’t hear every day.”“I don’t look for craft anymore. I am not looking for where the camera goes, what the lighting looks like. I am looking for a new idea when I look for a new young filmmaker.”last_img read more

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Ward leaves Wolves for Burnley

first_img Press Association The 28-year-old left-back, who has also been used further forward, has signed a three-year contract and becomes Sean Dyche’s seventh new recruit at Turf Moor. Ward l ast played in the top flight when the Molineux club were relegated in 2011/12 and, following a two-year hiatus, which included spending last year on loan at Brighton, he is relishing the prospect of a return to the big time. “I’m absolutely thrilled, I’ve had eight years at Wolves now and I was on loan at Brighton last year, but to start a new chapter in my career is great,” he told Burnley’s official website. “I don’t think I could have picked a better place than Turf Moor and obviously to come to the Premier League is a massive pull as well. “Once you get a taste of it you want to play as much Premier League football as you can.” The Republic of Ireland international was quietly impressed with what he saw as Burnley eased to automatic promotion last year and he believes they can surprise people again by staying up this year. He joins fellow new signings Lukas Jutkiewicz, Matthew Gilks, Michael Kightly, Steven Reid, Marvin Sordell and Matthew Taylor with Dyche boosting his ranks with players who almost all have Premier League experience. “Burnley have done superbly well to get promoted and hopefully I can play some part in us having a successful year,” Ward added. “It’s a hungry squad that wants to stay in the Premier League for many years to come.” center_img Stephen Ward cannot wait to return to the Barclays Premier League after completing a move to Burnley from Wolves on the eve of the new seasonlast_img read more

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