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I have purchased and still purchase a lot of stuff from China and have never been told to pay an import duty. I do not know if this is due to the FREE TRADE AGREEMENT that the U.S. has with China or not. I only know that I was never contacted about this. As far as the “you get what you pay for” scenerio goes, a company in Germany buys these machines from China, puts them in a nice looking wooden box, jacks the price up by thousands of dollars, and claims that the lathe was “refinished” in Germany. They market it under the name VECTOR. I can only guess that this is for the benefit of those who want a product with a designer label. In truth, it is the same machine. Once I received my machine and checked it out with dial indicators I concluded that it was a well made high quality watchmaker lathe.