Approximate reading time: 1 Minute
Moog Model D internals

Moog Model D internals  ·  Source: Moog


Moog Music says that it is considering moving its manufacturing overseas if President Trump’s recently announced tax on Chinese imports come into effect on the 6th of July.


Synth Tax

The problem is that the Trump administration wants to add a 25% import tax to components and circuit boards coming to America from China. Many of these components are used in the building of synthesizers. So companies like Moog who import the components but build in the States are going to have to hike their prices or come up with another solution. According to Moog Music that other solution could be moving all their manufacturing outside of the US.

In a newsletter, Moog Music is encouraging everyone to write to their elected officials. They’ve supplied a letter to copy and sign and instructions on who to send it to.

Moog has been building synthesizers in the USA for 60 years and has 100 employee-owners operating out of Asheville, North Carolina. They say that they do buy circuit boards from US suppliers whenever they can, sometimes paying up to 30% more than if they bought from overseas. But these still need to be made with components from China and there’s no way to avoid the price increase.

Staff at Moog Music

Staff at Moog Music

Makes you wonder how other companies are going to cope. The likes of Pittsburgh Modular, Make Noise and Malekko Heavy Industries might run into similar problems, although perhaps they get everything made in China in which case they would avoid the tax because it’s not being applied to fully built electronic goods.

I’d be happy to build Moog synthesizers in my shed for them if it’s helpful.

More information


5 responses to “Will new US import taxes push Moog manufacturing to leave USA?”

  1. Chad says:

    They’ll be subject to the same import tax if they come in as a complete assembly. Being that the US is Moog’s biggest market, the move would not be a net positive for them. They could always try buying American PCBs or making their own.

    And really, most serious musicians and producers have moved to laptop/midi rigs anyway. Moog stuff is just gimmicky; it’s really more for collectors and enthusiasts, not working musicians and producers.

    • Robin says:

      Well, that’s not what they say. As I said in the article the tax is on circuit boards and components, not complete synths. I also said that they do buy circuits boards built in the USA when they can… but as the components still come from China they would be subject to the same tax increase. I did try to put in all the article for you to read. Who uses the gear and why is really irrelevant.

      • William Paxson says:

        Robin, I just got done reading the entire tariff list (over 1k items) and as far as I can see all the electronics components and circuit board items tariffed are those with industrial, scientific, medical, and aviation applications and nothing that applies to musical instruments or as far as I can see even home entertainment products (if you read the list of items, they are very specifically and narrowly defined). Maybe Moog has a gripe and maybe they don’t but here in the States a lot of us Yanks are pretty dubious when companies start howling about stuff like this and start threatening to move overseas.

        • Robin says:

          Well done you! I imagine you can only go on what your supplier is telling you – if they are saying that you’re going to have to pay more because of the tariffs then that’s your reality. I’m not sure who wins with these tariffs… i guess the tax office?

  2. Potscrubber says:

    I would like to ‘join the discussion’. Chad, that’s a really douche comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *