- Getty Images/Pool
- Moog Music, the manufacturer of the iconic Moog synthesizer, warned customers in an email that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods will hurt the company.
- Moog said the “tariffs will immediately and drastically increase the cost of building our instruments,” and could lead to layoffs or offshoring of manufacturing.
- Moog synthesizers have been made since the 1960s and used by artists like The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder.
- The announcement comes after Harley-Davidson also shifted production outside of the US due to Trump’s trade fights.
Another iconic American brand is suggesting it could move its manufacturing overseas due to the cost of President Donald Trump’s tariff fights.
Legendary synthesizer manufacturer Moog Music has warned customers that it may have to shift production offshore or lay off workers due to Trump’s new tariffs on Chinese goods. That would be a similar move to the decision by motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson to shift production overseas because of Trump’s tariff spat with the European Union.
In an email to its customers, the company said Trump’s tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products will increase the cost of some parts used in the creation of the synthesizers and possibly force the company to make dramatic shifts.
“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,” Moog said in the email.
The company, which started in New York City and is now based in Asheville, North Carolina, first began producing synthesizers in 1963. According to the company, its synthesizers have been used by artists including Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, and more.
After the company went bankrupt and ceased operation in 1993, founder Robert Moog obtained back the rights to his invention and restarted the company in Asheville in 2002.
The warning highlights what economists say is one of the biggest problems with Trump’s tariffs. Many of the goods subject to the new tariffs are intermediate goods, or parts, used to manufacture other final products. This drives up costs for American businesses, like Moog Music, that rely on Chinese inputs.
In the case of Moog’s synthesizers, the company uses many American-made circuit boards to create their finished instruments. But raw materials used in the circuit boards are made in China, meaning the price will increase for a downstream manufacturer like Moog.
This in turn pushes up costs for Moog and will force the company to either cut costs elsewhere or pass on the increase to consumers, possibly hurting sales.
In the email, Moog urged customers to write to North Carolina lawmakers, including Reps. Mark Meadows and Patrick McHenry as well as Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, to ask that they try and get Trump to reverse the tariffs.
“We ask that you will support us by imploring our elected officials to recognize that these tariffs are seriously harmful to American businesses like Moog,” the company said in the email.