From the Fabricator: The DOJ Comes Down Hard

A big story that probably did not get as much traction as I would expect dropped last week when the Department of Justice announced that Basco Manufacturing will pay a $1.1 million fine to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act in conjunction with the duties that were levied on Chinese aluminum being imported into the United States. The fact that the Aluminum Extruders Council was able to get the DOJ involved and active in this case is pretty impressive. I think many folks did not expect any blowback or penalties because in the past our government either would not focus on it or they would take a light approach. There was little fear of the consequences of circumvention. Obviously, this is not the case here. The main issue in this case was something called “transshipping”--shipping the material from China to somewhere else and then off to the United States. Ironically, when these duties came out, I asked that exact question: Is this a practice that people could try? I was told point blank that it would be “impossible to pull off” and it turns out in the end it was…

Elsewhere…

  • You know I hate to keep bringing it up but I have to. The NFRC was back in the news again pushing their services and abilities when it comes to commercial windows and energy codes and ratings. This time it was during a webinar to promote its rating systems. In simple terms, they are trying to get commercial acceptance, and it's just not happening.  But gotta give them credit for trying. (My guess, it's because of class guys like Tom Herron, who do care and try to make it work.)
  • I am really stunned that the great blog post from Jenni Chase on last week’s glassblog only garnered the one comment. There’s no question that Obamacare is a massive political football and opinions can be strong. I guess possibly so strong that people do not want to even step into that debate…
  • View picked up another huge investment last week with $100 million coming their way.  More and more people are seeing that there’s going to be a major appetite for all sorts of smarter or dynamic glass (electrochomic and thermochromic, among others) and they are speaking with their checkbooks.
  • Make sure you check out my Video of the Week as it features one of our own on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Kawneer Regional Sales Representative Brian Burch was on vacation in Los Angeles when he ran into the cameras from Jimmy Kimmel and had to show off his moves… Go Brian Go!  And thank you  to Rod Van Buskirk, who brought this to our attention and now probably has Brian pretty fired up at him!
  • I saw that the Sacramento Kings basketball team will now accept Bitcoin as currency.  I still can’t get my head around how the whole Bitcoin will work. Can’t wait until some general contractor tries to pay in Bitcoin in our industry….
  • On the entertainment side, Emma Thompson was robbed by not getting even a nomination for an Oscar for Best Actress in Saving Mr. Banks. So wrong.  Also the movie Lone Survivor is getting a lot of buzz. I have an Army buddy who has seen it and said if you want a true and realistic view of what goes down in our current conflicts, this movie was right on. I have not seen it yet, but going to have to…

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Comments

Login to post comments