Skip to comments.Facing Closure, U.S.'s Largest Sleeping Bag Maker Seeks Relief From Free Trade Loophole
Posted on 12/19/2010 6:38:36 PM PST by 1rudeboy
The country's largest manufacturer of sleeping bags says new competition from Bangladesh could force it out of business if the U.S. does not level the playing field.
Exxel Outdoors Inc., which employs nearly 70 workers in its Alabama factory and makes about 2 million sleeping bags per year, has been pressing the Obama administration to lift an exemption that lets Bangladesh import sleeping bags into the country without paying a 9 percent tariff.
"You can't leave an American manufacturer at a competitive disadvantage with a foreign worker," Harry Kazazian, chief executive of the company, told FoxNews.com.
But that's apparently what the Obama administration has done, turning down the company's request in an initial ruling and forcing Exxel to submit another request.
The office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which is reviewing Exxel's request, told FoxNews.com that its review will conclude in the spring and that President Obama would have to sign off on any changes to the list of duty-free products changes that would go into effect before July 1.
"We take Exxel's concerns seriously," the office said in a statement.
Exxel is also seeking help from Congress.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has tried to slap a tariff on Bangladesh sleeping bags but he has been unable to sway his fellow lawmakers to change the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, which determines which products third-world countries can import duty free.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Don’t expect relief from Obama in GOP territory..
Enough is enough. “Free trade” isn’t working. It’s time for America to look out for America.
First. Last. Only.
This sickens me. Screw Bangladesh. America comes first!
Screwed by free trade again.
That’s precisely why I posted this: Obama will let Sessions twist in the wind (and it’s likely the plant is non-union, also—but I didn’t check).
Exxel Outdoors Inc must not be a union shop, otherwise 0bama would be all over this like white on rice.
Little Barry is not going to punish a Muslim country.
Exxel is in Alabama. Alabama is a red state. Until Alabama gets its mind right, ain't gonna be no exemption-liftin'.
I’ll bet upon contacting the 0bama admin, they got a call the very next day from the AFL-CIO.
Have they been asleep on the job?
Enough is enough. Free trade isnt working. Its time for America to look out for America.
First. Last. Only.
Look at that Food Safety Bill they just passed. It has Free Trader Communist Globalist written all over it. More crap from Communist China on the way
Exxel’s management needs to get with the program , fire the US workers and bring in Bangladeshi’s on H1-b visas as there is obviously a lack of expertise in the current staff... They can give them all “junior assistant to the junior assistant” titles to justify the $1/day wage... They can double as quality control by sleeping in the very same sleeping bags they sew in the new “team” living quarters , what used to be called the “break room” when they are off duty 6 hours a day. Isn’t that how it works in software/IT ?
Just like those new fangled light bulbs. Close plants making incandescent bulbs in the States and force Americans to buy mercury fiilled crap bulbs from communist China.
No you don't. Just shut up.
I wonder what Exxel’s Vice President of International Sales thinks of your opinion. I’ll bet he doesn’t have your loser attitude.
It’s because it ain’t free trade. China isn’t free and their regime does everything in it’s power to make sure trade stays imbalanced heavily in it’s favor. Bangledesh is no marvel of freedom.
There are so many other countries we could be doing business with that are certainly no worse and certainly less dangerous than the Chinese. We need to drop their MFN it’s a mistake.
A few years later?
Tens of millions of Americans are out of work, the U.S. debt has reached 14 trillion and our economy is sliding into the abyss...
The company claims that it doesn’t have a problem with China, and its website appears to brag about its exports.
It’s easy for American companies to compete with Bangladesh labor. Just hire cheap illegals from Mexico to replace higher-wage Americans. Oh, wait...
This is not a thread about the U.S. government spending too much money. It is a thread about trade. Government spending threads pop up now and then, you should keep an eye out for one.
He was a little crazy, but Ross Perot was right about the inequities of “fair” trading with third world economies. Eighteen years later, we are still experiencing that sucking sound. We manufacture virtually nothing any more and Americans soon will not be able to afford even the crap made in commie countries because they are jobless.
Well, this problem might be correcting itself, at least to some small degree. Garment workers in Bangladesh have been protesting in an attempt to win increases in their minimum wage from $24.00 per month to $72.00 per month. Of course, the employers consider that figure highly unreasonable and say than can’t increase wages beyond $30.00 per month.
Bangladesh is not a member of NAFTA.
If there’s a legitimate grievance, it’s up to his Administration to petition the WTO that this company is dumping bags. If that’s the case we can impose tariffs.
Obama isn’t interested in saving American businesses or jobs.
Especially in red states.
Anyway - they only employ 70 workers.
Michelle Obama has more people than that waiting on her and tending her garden.
It’s not free trade. It’s Globalist crony crapitalism.
Free trade is great as long as it’s somebody else’s job. Cheap shirts and jeans at Target, hey, I’ve bought those. One by one, the companies keep sending our jobs overseas, because its pays for each company and its shareholders. Then you add it all up and you get a recession that not one bank or manufacturer is responsible for, and, of course, the politicians are never responsible for anything. 10% unemployment (20% effective), and I don’t shop at Target anymore.
Lol, totally true, but the resident pretend free traders are either unable, or unwilling to find any connection whatsoever between the increased government spending on programs for the poor and low wage earners (which contribute to the US budget deficit), and the export and outsourcing of US jobs, and the trade deficit.
The U.S. government can use a number of different WTO-approved mechanisms to reduce or block imports from another country. If it finds that a country has been selling goods at less than fair value, it can pursue a dumping investigation. If it finds that a country has been illicitly subsidizing its exports, it can take up a countervailing duty case. Those are the two most common approaches, and each involves a two-stage investigation. First, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) determines whether the domestic industry has been injured. Second, the Commerce Department assesses the extent of the exporting countrys violationthe dumping margin or the size of the subsidy. In the end, tariffs may be applied.
I camp out a lot, never heard of them... what do they make?
Advisor: Mr. President, the People have no bread.
Obama: Then let them eat cake.
I decided in advance only to comment on the most egregious examples of failing to read the article, because I correctly guessed that many would not. The reason Exxel is getting screwed is because some politicians got together and tried to boost some poor countries. So it's not "crony capitalism" at all, but rather "good intentions run amok." The government is quite good at it.
If they really employ only 70 workers and make 2 million a year, there is only .07 of an hour of labor in each bag. It would seem like labor costs would not not be a big problem.
The gummint has been very good fighting monopolies, regulating Wall Street, banks, even if it is always behind the curve (Madoff could’ve been caught 10 years earlier.) But it has done nothing about the export of U.S. jobs, the outsourcing, not a fogging thing. I can’t imagine any other country tolerating such a situation. Do the Germans, the French outsource their jobs to India? Yeah, you bet, globalist Bush’s and Bush’s fault!
Much like the resident blowhard protectionists don't just come clean and admit that they want Uncle Sugar to run every aspect of their lives in exchange for a steady paycheck.
Lol, a typical, inane non-answer.
And you react precisely like a woman. Need a hug? Would you feel better if the government ran health care?
A subset of the above.
Actually, I overstated the pay in Bangladesh for many garment workers.
“Unskilled workers in the garment sector are worse off still, receiving just BDT800 (US$11.5) a month and often forced to toil for 14-16 hours a day.”
Same link as #25. Yep, people should be really proud to come here and excuse a system of trade that results in workers being paid $11.50 per month, and who knows how many hours they are required to work.
In the meantime, 70 workers might soon be without jobs and on government assistance just so Americans can buy sleeping bags for maybe $10 less.
I might feel a little differently if we had a robust economy where these 70 individuals might be able to find comparable positions elsewhere but, the reality is, we don’t.
Don’t see it, unless the Bangladeshi lobby is much more powerful in Congress than I can imagine.
I can’t think of any economist that would argue that it’s desirable to produce everything we use within our own country. Maybe it’s better to make sleeping bags elsewhere.
In any event, my guess is that the cost of materials, not labor, is the determining factor. Supports for cotton farmers and other corporate welfare add enormously to costs.
This is just a marketing problelm. Bangladesh has bed bugs, Alabama doesn’t; let it be known. You think a 9% margin matters vs bed bugs?
If you accept the article as written, it looks like Exxel thinks it can compete if the Bangladeshis pay the 9%. If that’s the case, it’s likely that Exxel can produce sleeping bags much more efficiently than others.
Actually, one would hope protectionists understood basic science.