From the fabricator: The letter to the editor

 

While I was digging through the latest Glass Magazine this week, I got totally immersed in the “Letters to the Editor” page.  Usually, that page offers some great insights, and this month was no different.  In fact, this edition had an interesting rebuttal from John D’Amario of Yuanda USA Corp. on the whole adventure of tariffs on Chinese aluminum.  It was a very colorful letter defending the rights of Chinese manufacturers to sell in North America.  Part of his approach relied on the “welcome to the evolution” argument: the world continues to lean towards China in so many other categories, it’s not a surprise that it continues its dive into building products.  He also basically said don’t blame China for your lack of competitiveness, and so on.
However, the one item he did not mention in his letter was the fact that many, if not all, of the Chinese manufacturers get government subsidies.  That fact takes out any notion of a “level” playing field.  I have gone on the record before about other aspects of this situation that make it incredibly frustrating and unfair.  At the end of the day though, it is not going away. This debate will continue, but I think it’s important to note that North American producers are at a distinct disadvantage.
Elsewhere…
  • By the way, the rest of the magazine this month was strong, as always.  If you are not getting it, you need to make that happen, so sign up or get it via the app
  • One of Glass Magazine's big focuses this month was GlassBuild America, and I was blown away at the layout of some of the products that will be on display.  I know I have been promoting it relentlessly, but my gosh, seeing it in the magazine really hit home.  You have everything from one-man glass lifters to glass flooring to tons of new hardware options, and so on.  Hundreds and hundreds of new and diverse products will be on display. In any case, the time is now. By the way, the hotel block was extended after so many folks read my blog last Tuesday and must have swamped the system.  So, you now have til August 10 to get the great rates.  Ya gotta be there…
  • Did you see the rankings of the “happiest places in the world” that came out the end of last week?  The US of A came in at #11.  My good friends in Canada checked in at #5 (though if they ever do “best dressed country,” Canada wins hands down because of Walker Glass). The top four were Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands. By the way, the U.S. has had the same score and percentages since 1992, which is really funny because I am sure a lot of people think our world and country have changed pretty dramatically since then. 
  • For the most part, I have been very positive and optimistic about our industry economic trends.  I have been cheerleading like crazy.  More recently, however, I have been struggling to remain positive and have turned towards the pessimistic. Even the positive news from AIA last week that 2013 will bring some decent growth to our world did not impress me.  I'm just not feeling it; I have been built up and let down so many times…
  • There have been tons of amazing moments at the Olympics so far, but one of my favorites was the vault by McKayla Moroney in the gymnastics team competition.  She is a vault specialist I guess, and her main reason for being there was to come through with a jaw-dropping performance… and she did… and then some.  When I saw it, I was blown away: pure, amazing perfection.  Also, if you had the chance to see NBC’s look back at the 1996 gymnastic team (Kerri Strug and the Magnificent 7), that was excellent TV.
  • The NFL has kicked off their pre-season. Schools will be back in session soon. Seriously, is summer over?  Is it me, or did it just fly by?

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

Funny, Mr. D'Amario has worked for several domestic glazing contractors and I bet if he were doing so again and not selling a Chinese product that his point of view would be very different.

Duh....!

I agree with the guy that responded "duh". We should always ready to adjust when necessary in life. It's survival of the fittest. That's how all countries were formed in the first place. Right, "anonymous"?

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This is the author. Funny to read all these comments. The Fabricator's point about being government subsidized is okay, but not proven. And if that's the case, then maybe our government could stop subsidizing firearms and start subsidizing curtain wall fabrications. Either way, it's a global market and it's everybody's game. And thank you for being very respectful. You have my respect as well.

As for the first "Anonymous": You're probably somebody I know and it's too bad you won't reveal yourself. It sure would be nice to see you agian.

John

Thank you for the comment- no question this remains a hot button subject on all sides.

Appreciate you putting yourself out there.

Take care
Max

Hello, Max. People have got to get off the "government subsidy" thing. Low bidding is a mistake made by inexperienced estimators - not their governments. It's no different a situation than we've seen in our past when some domestic or international glazing contractor/supplier under bids work in your town and upsets the market. Eventually, they recognize their mistakes and adjust costs - provided they don't go out of business first. If the USA ends up placing heavy tariffs on unitized curtain wall from China and succeeds in their blocade, it will be funny to see what they cry about when they still can't get work due to the competitive population.

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