I got in to help Jeff with some work this week, and he brought me up to date on some new developments and situations that he gets to 'look forward' to dealing with. One of these is the fact that the supplier of his aluminum gunwales went bankrupt in November, and now he has to find a new supplier. Fortunately, of the three gunwales he uses, he has enough stock to build about seventy boats or more, but he is running low on the light profile gunwales for our superlight kevlar, carbon, and helium canoes.
The dies to produce each gunwale cost roughly $3000 each, and even though he pays for them to be made, he never actually owns or possesses them, and now they are sitting in a closed factory in London, in bankrupty proceedings, and shut down by the CAW. So not much to be done except bite the bullet and go to a new supplier, pony up the cash, and get the 'dies' rolling again.
I told Jeff I would do a bit of investigating, to see if I could find out if the dies could be bought off the bankrupt company, and provided to the new manufacturer, so as to save the expense of another ten grand, as no one other than us has any use for them. In starting my research, I found a couple of little tidbits of information, which once again pissed me off, and if there is one thing sure to do that, it is the 'business practices' (I use the term loosely) of the People's Republic of China.
Recently the Canada Border Services Agency issued a report concerning the Dumping of aluminum extrusions exported from the People's Republic of China. Essentially, virtually all the Chinese exporters of aluminum extrusions were found to be dumping (selling significantly below the actual cost of production) their product on the Canadian Market. Unfortunately, this is typical business practice for the Chinese, as there is probably nothing that you can buy that at one point or another has been dumped into our Country, from bicycles to toasters, to shoes and underwear, and now aluminum extrusions!
To keep it brief, China is a country rife with corruption, which endorses unethical and immoral business practices, supports widespread industrial espionage, illegally subsidizes and dumps goods on other countries, unfairly manipulates its own currency (not to mention supports the murder of its own citezens to supply demand for organ transplants to wealthy westerners). And they even help put Canadian manufacturers of top quality aluminum gunwales out of business.
If you have a choice, buy Canadian; If you can't do that, buy North American; If that is impossible, buy from the EU; failing that, try the emerging Eastern European nations, South America, the Caribbean, Pacific Rim countries like Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia; and finally, if you can't get what you want made anywhere else in the world, buy Chinese.