This letter was addressed to President George W. Bush.
My name is Bruce Cain, and I am writing this letter because the American worker needs help. I am vice president of manufacturing at Xcel Mold & Machine Inc. in North Canton, Ohio.
Last October, after watching one of the debates on television, I sat down and wrote a letter about my concerns. We sent letters to 25 politicians and received a reply back from only two.
The response from the two was: Stay involved and if trade laws are being violated, let them know. To my knowledge, no trade laws are being abused, they just are not fair!
In an article from American Mold Builders Association's News & Views (Spring/Summer 2001), President Olav L. Bradley writes about free trade. This is a portion of what he wrote: ``If we truly believe in free trade, then why, as an example, do we have a 3.31 percent tariff on a $30,000 mold coming into the United States, while at the same time China has a most favored nation (MFN) rate of 12 percent plus a value added tax (VAT) of 17 percent on molds that they import from the United States?'' This 29 percent does not sound like fair trade.
``If our government would give us as much consideration as they give other industries, such as the Florida citrus lobby, which got the government to add $418 to every ton of orange juice coming into the U.S. from Brazil, we could continue to be the greatest manufacturing nation.''
This is not what I would call free trade. China, Taiwan, Portugal and Canada enjoy the luxury of ``free trade'' while we sit back and watch. The value of the dollar plus unfair taxes and tariffs are killing manufacturing in our country.
The tax rebate and lowering interest rates are great, but that is not the problem. The larger companies in this country are still spending money, they just are not spending it here in the United States.
Right now, our largest customer is having 93 molds built in China. They asked us to quote this package after it had already been placed, to see what it would have cost to be made here.
The package was over $4 million, and we were told they had a savings of 30 percent. Now if we had the MFN tax of 12 percent plus the VAT of 17 percent, that would be fair. When you add in the cost of travel expenses to monitor the progress of the project and a fair tariff, we would have been in the same price range, if not lower.
As you can see by the size of this package, large companies are spending money. This is just one package from one company. Just think of the work and jobs leaving the country because we are at such a disadvantage.
I want you to know this is not a problem in our area only, this is all over the country. We receive three to four flyers a week for auctions of shops going out of business.
If something is not done soon, we will no longer be the manufacturing capital of the world. The American worker deserves a better hand than he is being dealt.
Bruce A. Cain
Xcel Mold & Machine Inc.
North Canton, Ohio