Can't our industry roll with punches?
I just returned home from a couple of weeks traveling and listening to everyone lament about gas prices, the Chinese, Wal-Mart, etc.
As I sat down to catch up I grabbed my back copies of Plastics News first, to get a quick summary, and your comments in the Viewpoint piece [``Plastics work can be lesson in enthusiasm,'' Aug. 15, Page 6] hit home. I have been in this business a long time and it has been a challenge from the very beginning. Bad publicity, misuse of plastics creating a flurry of badly conceived and molded parts, shady owners, you name it, we have had to deal with it.
The thing that seems to be different now is the attitude. In the past, everyone accepted the challenge as part of the deal and moved on. In most cases the more creative and committed companies came out on top.
Now, it is almost as if we have given up and want someone else to solve our problems.
We have always been up to the task in the past, so I would like to think we are up to the task now.
Thanks for making your points the way you did. Maybe it will ring true for some others as well.
Fort Collins, Colo.
Resin makers should be held accountable
I have been trying to figure out the way to investigate market assistance in what I see as a practice that is unfair and destroying the competitive ability of the film producers in the United States.
I am with a polypropylene film producer and, as may be known, this industry is in turmoil, with losses and bankruptcies very much a part of the current climate.
Beyond the inability to quickly pass on resin increases, the double whammy we have faced is that the very suppliers we depend on for our resin are selling the same resin overseas to Asia for such low prices that those very Asian customers can come back with product made from cheap U.S. resin and destroy our market.
The recourse - to claim the exporting countries are dumping, as they are selling below fair market value - would not hold up, we imagine, as the cost structure using cheap U.S. resin is the very margin that allows us to be buried.
How does a customer of the huge resin producer say, ``Stop, please''? Do you personally see it as legal or ethical to sell in the world market to competitors in other parts of the world more favorably?
I am talking about selling the same class of customer in a world market at levels that allow one to dominate the other. I wouldn't mind ``freight over only'' as the discount offered Asia, but for some reason the fine minds in the resin world lack the courage or integrity or oversight to play fairly.
How would I gain good advice as to the merits of this issue? What might the remedy be? Is this an antitrust violation? Clearly the resin producers are global in outlook and have no vested interest in any one source of capital. But how can we make them accountable to us, their bread and butter in their own back yard? Your thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Fort Myers, Fla.