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1 Amory Blaine  Thu, Oct 13, 2011 1:06:07pm

I haven't heard a good explanation for the rule. Sounds like foreign interests are being protected. Anyone know why the disparity exists?

2 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Thu, Oct 13, 2011 1:27:37pm

To answer the OP's question: It depends:

Image: TOGPoster.jpg

3 harrylook  Thu, Oct 13, 2011 1:42:02pm

Thanks for this post. The gov't's action in this case smells pretty shitty to me. Ruining a great American enterprise for no good reason. Sucks.

4 blueraven  Thu, Oct 13, 2011 9:51:26pm

re: #3 harrylook

Thanks for this post. The gov't's action in this case smells pretty shitty to me. Ruining a great American enterprise for no good reason. Sucks.

So they are above the law? A bill that was passed with bipartisan support. A bill that was introduced by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander.

The provision was also supported by hardwood industry groups. The American Forest & Paper Association, which represents pulp, paper, and wood companies, estimated that "illegal logging costs the American forest products industry $460 million each year." In Congressional testimony, Ann Wrobleski stated on behalf of AF&PA:

Among the factors driving illegal logging are: unclear or poorly enforced forest tenure, weak political institutions, poverty, corruption, inadequate natural resources planning and monitoring, and lax enforcement of sovereign laws and regulations.

Illegal logging, associated illegal border trade, and the use of illegally obtained timber in manufacturing distort international trade and reduce market opportunities for U.S. suppliers. The very presence of illegally procured wood fiber in the international marketplace affects the competitiveness of U.S. producers who operate legitimately in accordance with national and international environmental and trade rules.

[Link: mediamatters.org...]

Gibson broke the law. More than once. Period.

5 Ben G. Hazi  Fri, Oct 14, 2011 12:48:16am

re: #3 harrylook

Thanks for this post. The gov't's action in this case smells pretty shitty to me. Ruining a great American enterprise for no good reason. Sucks.

re: #4 blueraven

So they are above the law? A bill that was passed with bipartisan support. A bill that was introduced by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander.

The provision was also supported by hardwood industry groups. The American Forest & Paper Association, which represents pulp, paper, and wood companies, estimated that "illegal logging costs the American forest products industry $460 million each year." In Congressional testimony, Ann Wrobleski stated on behalf of AF&PA:

[Link: mediamatters.org...]

Gibson broke the law. More than once. Period.

The Lacey Act (the last amendment that's in play here was enacted by W in 2008, no less) may be need to be revisited and revised if companies like Gibson feels it unduly and adversely affects them, but the fact is that it is the law and they seem to be the only major American guitar manufacturer that's been caught breaking it since it was last amended. Not just once, but at least twice in the past three years...and going through quite a bit of skullduggery and legerdemain to do it, IIRC.

I'm a Nashvillian and I like to see local companies do well, but not by breaking the law, bad law or not. If it's bad law, work to change it but otherwise follow it until it is changed.

Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz is a whiny RWNJ ass, IMNSHO...

6 RogueOne  Fri, Oct 14, 2011 3:19:14am

re: #4 blueraven

So they are above the law? A bill that was passed with bipartisan support. A bill that was introduced by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander.

The provision was also supported by hardwood industry groups. The American Forest & Paper Association, which represents pulp, paper, and wood companies, estimated that "illegal logging costs the American forest products industry $460 million each year." In Congressional testimony, Ann Wrobleski stated on behalf of AF&PA:

[Link: mediamatters.org...]

Gibson broke the law. More than once. Period.

Gibson belongs to the Rainforest Alliance which helps them determine what wood is both legal and from sustainable sources. India and Madagascar both say no laws were broken. Lastly, and most importantly in my book, they were raided 2 years ago, had their property seized by the feds, and no one was arrested and no charges filed. If the feds think they've broken the law then lets see some charges. This was a bs raid meant to keep people busy.

7 blueraven  Fri, Oct 14, 2011 10:29:01am

re: #6 RogueOne

Gibson belongs to the Rainforest Alliance which helps them determine what wood is both legal and from sustainable sources. India and Madagascar both say no laws were broken. Lastly, and most importantly in my book, they were raided 2 years ago, had their property seized by the feds, and no one was arrested and no charges filed. If the feds think they've broken the law then lets see some charges. This was a bs raid meant to keep people busy.

The Lacey act was instituted to enforce the laws of the host country by the nations receiving the product. The problem has been that certain govt officials in the exporting nation have been susceptible to bribes and not enforcing the laws themselves.

It is easy enough to get one or two govt officials of say, India, to agree with Gibson on this issue.

Where is the direct official government statement by India and Madagascar?

Why did Gibson lie on the customs declarations and mis-direct the shipments if they felt they were not engaged in illegal activity?

8 Daniel Ballard  Fri, Oct 14, 2011 11:09:20am

re: #5 talon_262

This first case was not yet resolved when the second raid too place. So, it's very unfair to speculatively convict them.

9 Daniel Ballard  Fri, Oct 14, 2011 11:28:47am

re: #7 blueraven

The Lacey act was instituted to enforce the laws of the host country by the nations receiving the product. The problem has been that certain govt officials in the exporting nation have been susceptible to bribes and not enforcing the laws themselves.

It is easy enough to get one or two govt officials of say, India, to agree with Gibson on this issue.

Where is the direct official government statement by India and Madagascar?

Why did Gibson lie on the customs declarations and mis-direct the shipments if they felt they were not engaged in illegal activity?

Where is your proof they lied?

10 blueraven  Fri, Oct 14, 2011 11:41:37am

re: #9 Rightwingconspirator

Where is your proof they lied?

Its all over the place. Here is one source

The investigation that led to the searches last week began when a customs official intercepted an air shipment of 1,250 ebony fingerboards in Dallas on June 22, according to an affidavit filed in support of the search warrant. The shipment was mislabeled as “finished parts of musical instruments,” which are legal to export, the affidavit said.

The paperwork with the shipment did not say the wood was going to Gibson Guitar Corporation in Nashville. Agents from the Fish and Wildlife Service interviewed officials at a Canadian import company listed on a manifest and a storage company in Nashville where the wood was to be warehoused. They determined that the Gibson factories were the final destination.

The affidavit maintains that unfinished fingerboard blanks that are more than a centimeter thick cannot be exported under Indian law; only finished pieces of veneer, about half as thick can be exported. The intent of the law is to protect woodworking jobs in India.

[Link: artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com...]

If you dont like that one, another from the WSJ

After the 2009 raid, Gibson stopped buying wood from Madagascar. Gibson continued to use suppliers in India for ebony and rosewood.

As for last week's raid, the government said it had evidence that Indian ebony was "fraudulently" labeled in an attempt to evade an Indian ban on exports of unfinished wood.

"It is very possible that a broker made the mistake in filling out a form," Mr. Juszkiewicz said. Gibson says the ebony was partially finished for use as fingerboards and that Indian officials have endorsed such exports as legal. A spokesman for India's commerce ministry had no immediate comment.

[Link: online.wsj.com...]

11 Daniel Ballard  Fri, Oct 14, 2011 12:17:24pm

re: #10 blueraven

None of this is definitively settled. One court case underway, and another upcoming. Innocent until proven guilty BTW. And I am seeing no reason to assume bribery until we have evidence of it. Evidence other than circumstantial.

At this point we can likely agree this has absolutely nothing to do with protecting rare or endangered species of exotic wood. Was this act enacted to protect foreign labor interests? I don't think so.

12 blueraven  Fri, Oct 14, 2011 1:30:34pm

re: #11 Rightwingconspirator

None of this is definitively settled. One court case underway, and another upcoming. Innocent until proven guilty BTW. And I am seeing no reason to assume bribery until we have evidence of it. Evidence other than circumstantial.

At this point we can likely agree this has absolutely nothing to do with protecting rare or endangered species of exotic wood. Was this act enacted to protect foreign labor interests? I don't think so.

I dont understand your question. The amendment to the Lacey act was instituted to protect all country's laws. It was enacted under a republican President and had bi-partisan support.

[Link: www.aphis.usda.gov...]

I answered your question honestly and provided links. What are you insinuating? Do you think there is a political agenda here?
Where is the official statement from the government of India or Madagascar regarding the Gibson shipments?...not some local India gov't agent.

Why did Gibson mis-label the shipment?

Maybe the law needs to be changed...I dont know. But it is what it is.


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