APEC Business Spotlight: King Arthur's Sells Specialized Tools to the Asia-Pacific Region
Today is day three of USTR.gov’s profiles of American businesses that can benefit from the work of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
King Arthur’s Tools is a small, family-owned business that packs a big punch. Based in Tallahassee, Florida, King Arthur’s team of innovators design and export specialized chain saws and other tools.
King Arthur’s Tools provides convenience and efficiency for other businesses, supporting numerous niche markets. These markets include wood working, wood carving, wood turning, taxidermy, equine and boviine hoof trimming, musical instrument-making, log homes, remodeling homes, and the construction industry. CEO and President Arthur Aveling even invented the world’s smallest miniature chainsaw (2” diameter) to trim a horse’s hoof. This product took the equine and hoof trimming industry into the 21st century and increased King Arthur’s Tool’s market share by 400 percent.
Exporting since 1992, King Arthur’s Tools now sells its products in 53 countries and partners with distributors in 17 countries. King Arthur also partners with other U.S. manufacturers that provide supporting components. These products are shipped to King Arthur’s facilities for assembly, packaging and distribution throughout the world right from the capital of the Sunshine State.
King Arthur’s Tools is enjoying enormous and rapid success overseas with these niche markets. One area of the world that is helping to drive King Arthur’s growth is the Asia-Pacific region. King Arthur’s Tools currently export to almost all the member economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Canada, Chile, China, Taiwan, Peru, and Russia. These countries represent 20 to 30 percent of the company’s total export markets. The company’s CEO is a big advocate for lowering tariffs and reducing trade barriers.
“We are on the cutting edge of products that could better serve numerous markets if barriers were lowered, and it would add local jobs to the local economy of Tallahassee as well as the manufacturing plants we work with in the USA. King Arthur’s Tools is a rapidly growing company and we are justifiably proud that our products are Made in the USA,” says Mr. Aveling.
Mr. Aveling says an enhanced economic relationship between the economies of this region and the U.S. would provide a better business environment for American innovators to better serve its customers and increase exports.
“If the trade barriers were lowered we would do more business in the Asia-Pacific arena. In certain cases, we’ve had the products returned because excessive customs duties have been levied on the products when they get to the point of entry. Then we’ve had to go through many time-consuming obstacles to finally get the product to our customers. On occasion, we’ve lost business through this process. Lowering tariffs and custom duties would be of tremendous assistance to expanding our export markets, no question about that.”
Today, King Arthur’s team consists of only 14 employees, but Mr. Aveling says that the company’s sales have also created employment in supporting industries based in the United States. King Arthur’s Tools is looking forward to a stronger trade relationship between the United States and APEC member economies. Increased market access and ease of entry into markets across the Asia-Pacific region can lead to expansion of its operations in Tallahassee and hire more workers in the community.