Exploitation by Nypro won't stop in China
I read with interest the front-page story by Joe Pryweller in your Feb. 3 issue [``Nypro slates two more plants for China'']. This story details how Nypro Inc. and others are expanding their operations in China.
I was especially intrigued by the remarks by Mr. Jones near the end, where he theorizes on how long the China boom will continue.
I wondered, first of all, if he has given any thought to what these types of decisions are doing to the U.S. molding and mold-making economy? I also wondered whether, if you looked up ``exploitation'' in the dictionary, you would see his picture next to the description?
After all, why should Chinese workers be allowed to make a living? Why not bail on them as soon as they stop coming out of the hinterlands in search of a decent wage?
Why concern yourself with Chinese workers when there are apparently tons of hungry people in India that would love to do his work at slave-labor rates?
My message to Mr. Jones is this: I hope the folks that provide this cheap labor can afford to buy your products over the long term.
Once the economy in the United States hits rock bottom, no one here will be able or willing to buy them. Of course, he'll be wealthy, so who cares?
My message to the Chinese (and Indians, etc.) is this: Wake up! About the time you are able to make a living, Nypro will be a memory and you'll be stuck with the cleanup!
My message to Plastics News is that you have a voice. Use it to support American mold makers and molders and to encourage people like Mr. Jones to use their head for the long-term good of our country and not look for the quick bottom-line impact.
It won't be easy, but if we don't take every opportunity to keep work in the United States, we won't need a weekly or even an annual newspaper for the plastics industry.
The mold-making industry in the United States has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to be competitive and quality-driven. I'd hate to see it go to waste.
Model Die & Mold Inc.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Quest for cheap labor ignores eventual cost
When Brian Jones, president of Nypro Inc., speculates that, in three to five years, wages could begin to rise in China, perhaps indicating a long-term shift by Nypro to another low-cost region and concludes with, ``The key is to stay ahead in the global marketplace,'' once again we find that the dispatch from Pogo, ``We have met the enemy and they are us,'' was spot-on.
Jones pulls no punches. The ``key,'' in his mind, is the cheapest labor he can find, anywhere.
Here's hoping there are a whole lot of Americans who love hamburgers, because that's where we're headed, flipping burgers for each other.
Diamond Polyethylene Products
U.S. must act soon to level playing field
I just received the Feb. 3 issue and the first story at the top of the front page is about a large molding company opening a molding and toolmaking facility in China to compete with the global marketplace [``Nypro slates two more plants for China''].
What kind of message does that send to us in the United States? I really don't think Americans are dumb enough to ignore this, but it's been going on for quite sometime now and there is little or no action to keep the work in the states. Can't the federal government step in and issue some kind of tariff on molds and plastic parts made in other countries? That money could help with the financial problems created by lost revenue. Maybe a tariff would help level the playing field or keep taxes from increasing.
How many unemployed Americans can go out and buy products made from these companies? How many Chinese, Asian, Mexican or Japanese workers can afford to buy products made from these companies? If cheap labor is the reason for moving to China or anyplace other than the United States, then it is only a matter of time before we all are out of a job!
Legacy Mold & Tool Inc.
How can government ignore China's goal?
This is an open letter to President Bush about China.
Dear President Bush:
China is in the process of destroying American manufacturing like a fast-growing cancer. Millions of decent, hard-working, taxpaying American family people are losing their skilled jobs with no place to turn. These are skills that their fathers and grandfathers proudly supported their families with, skills that take many years to develop and that are being lost forever because the manufacturing plants they were working at have been relocated to China.
These are the same manufacturing jobs that have made America the most prosperous, envied and powerful country on Earth - jobs that are being eliminated because of greed by corporate America and irresponsible leadership by the very government officials we have voted in office.
Many of my friends and colleagues have written letters to you and to their congressional representatives attempting to inform our elected officials about what is happening to manufacturing in the United States. The incredible trade deficit of $85 billion with China is only the be- ginning of the downfall of our economy, and no one will be exempt from our government's irresponsible management of the U.S./China relationship.
Recently, my innocence about the government's lack of knowledge regarding China turned to anger when I was told about a government-run Internet site (www.uscc.gov/ anrp02.htm) that displays the U.S./China Commission's July 2002 report to Congress.
Our government knows about the damage that is being done to our country, yet it stands back and is allowing China to de-industrialize the United States. I urge you to read this report and ask yourself if our country can remain a world leader without a manufacturing base. I am listing only a fraction of the report's unbelievably alarming facts:
* The U.S. trade deficit rose from $11.5 billion in 1990 to $83 billion in 2001. Technology exports rose from zero in 1990 to $13.3 billion in 2001.
* China is a conspicuous abuser of human rights, labor rights and the environment, and its refusal to follow international standards gives it an unfair advantage over U.S. workers and businesses.
* China is manipulating its currency by holding down its value, gaining an unfair trade advantage.
* Such an imbalanced relationship has troubling implications for U.S. jobs and wages, as well as for the overall economic health of the U.S. manufacturing sector.
* The United States is developing a dependency on Chinese imports that undermine the U.S. defense industrial base.
* Chinese leaders, including President Jiang Zemin, emphasize the importance of developing independent, proprietary, high-technology capabilities to boost China's military prowess to counter ``hegemonic'' U.S. actions.
* The Chinese investment strategy is designed to extract technology from American companies to ``reap a technology bonanza.''
* American technology potentially could be transferred to China's military industrial base.
* In 1999, 8 percent of the doctorates in science and engineering awarded by American universities went to Chinese nationals, while 22 percent went to American students.
* Hundreds of major U.S. companies now manufacture in China and are no longer a part of American communities producing jobs for American workers. Every $1 billion in trade deficit costs 11,000-20,000 American jobs. The $85 billion deficit is a loss of up to 1.7 million American jobs.
How can this report be ignored? Why is our government letting this happen?
My guess is that big business is fueling this impending train wreck with millions and millions of dollars for its own benefit. Huge corporations make large campaign contributions to political leaders and can afford lobbyists. Corporate giants that make everything from power tools to coffee pots are relocating to China with the same excitement and reasons that caused people to flock to California during the 1849 gold rush - easy money!
These American companies can manufacture their products in China without all the restrictions our government puts on them here, such as: workers' compensation, overtime pay, Social Security, hospitalization insurance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. And the really big bonus is that they can hire highly skilled workers for less than $5 a day.
Mr. President, I ask you to answer this question: Can the United States remain a superpower in the world without being a manufacturing leader?
Pro Mold & Die Inc.
Work needed here, so why go overseas?
In your Feb. 3 issue, the article regarding the Plastics News Executive Forum in Phoenix has me puzzled [``Nypro slates two more plants for China,'' Page 1].
I don't understand the statement by Joseph Raffa, vice president of Tessy Plastics Corp.: ``Even our customers who aren't yet in China are giving us more business here because we have a plant in Shanghai.'' If there is such a need here in the U.S. for jobs, why do companies invest in other countries and not the United States?
We are a small business and are fighting desperately to keep our good employees and stay in business. We started as a small shop in March 1978 and have grown, on our own, from a 2,000-square-foot tool and die shop to a total of 16,400 square feet in three facilities. No one handed us anything; we worked for everything we have accomplished.
It's a sad day when small business, which supports more employment than large corporations, sees potential jobs fly to other countries.
The Big Three insist on ISO or QS qualification in order to be a subcontractor, when the worst offenders are the Big Three when it comes to quality. The powers that be should take a longer look at the availability of potential in the U.S. and not continue to give away jobs that could be done here.
Patton Tool & Die Inc.