Canadian Plastics

Moldmaking Report: Moldmaker Calls for Action, Legislation to Protect Manufacturers From Outsourcing

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This letter was sent to members of a Canadian Association of Moldmakers team studying the issue of global outsourcing. Canadian Plastics was copied on the letter, which is reproduced here....

This letter was sent to members of a Canadian Association of Moldmakers team studying the issue of global outsourcing. Canadian Plastics was copied on the letter, which is reproduced here.

Hello Team,

I met this afternoon with Mr. Brian Masse, MP Windsor-West, regarding my concerns over global business issues.

As we all know the North American tooling and manufacturing sectors have been adversely affected by the outsourcing of manufacturing business overseas, especially to China and India.

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The greatest impact of this trend is on smaller shops, which is 80% of this manufacturing sector. There are a lot more people employed in smaller businesses than in larger businesses. Therefore the smaller business-based tooling and manufacturing sector is one of the most important to our society, and its well-being is in the best interest of this nation.

We need our government to place rules in the global competition environment to protect this sector. We also need to work together with the U.S. government, as they are facing the same problems regarding competition with China, India and other Third World countries.

Global competition is good for large businesses or the big OEMs. They can take advantage by sourcing the business to the lower bidders from other countries that can offer a much cheaper labor rate, etc. However most of the smaller manufacturing businesses in North America depend on these large OEMs. Increasingly OEMs are sourcing work to overseas bidders. Therefore, there are fewer and fewer companies that benefit from the global manufacturing environment. Most of the smaller businesses in manufacturing sector are facing the same problem–how to survive this crisis.

Since the standard of living in North America is one of highest in the world, we have to keep our high-value products manufactured in North America. These high-value products are automotive, aerospace products, heavy equipment, high precision machinery, major appliances, building materials, etc. These types of products have to be manufactured in North America. Perhaps there should be limit, say 15%-20% of the work going into these product lines, that can be allowed to be outsourced outside of North America due to special circumstances.

As for the low value products, such as toys, garden tools, housewares, etc., these types of products can be produced elsewhere.

If the governments of the North American countries, (Canada and U.S.) do not do something to save the smaller businesses in the manufacturing sector, soon, this sector will be in a crisis situation. In fact, now we are feeling the crisis coming and when the manufacturing sector gets hurt, it hurts all the sectors in business services. They are linked together and depend on one another for survival.

We understand businesses should have freedom in operations and decision making. Due to the business laws in North America, however, the smaller businesses do not have much of a chance against the global competition, since we cannot lower the standards of the laws on wages, labor, taxes, etc.

In my opinion, the Canadian and U.S. governments need to implement a new law for the protection of the manufacturing sector: “North American Fairness Competition Acts”.

We need to implement this Act not because we are anti-China or anti-India, but because North American society has a unique and high standard of living largely dependent on small businesses and manufacturing. We therefore do not want our standard of living lowered or suffer the consequences resulting from the globalization of the manufacturing business. In fact, we need to set a good example to the world that the people in North America support fair trade as well as free trade.

We should all express our concerns about the effects of globalization and outsourcing to our elected MPs, and we hope they can understand the situation we are facing. We need to demand they do something to protect the best interests of our country.

Mr. Brian Masse, MP, told me he is willing to meet with the representatives of CAMM and the leaders of other manufacturing associations. He is willing to do whatever possible to help the manufacturing sector, and bring our concerns to the leaders in Ottawa. Our thanks to Mr. Masse. His contact information is: Plaza 300, 336-300 Tecumseh Rd. East, Windsor, ON N8X 5E8, phone: 519-255-1631, fax: 519-255-7913; email: masse.b@parl.gc.ca

We can also contact our local MPPs to express our concerns for the the threats facing Canada’s manufacturing businesses.

Thank you.

Regards,

Henry Lau , president

Standard Tool & Mold Inc., Windsor, ON

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