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  1. #1
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    A major fastener company in Rockford went bankrupt this month:

    Rockford Products Sold

    A sad comment which I didn't know about:

    "Rockford Products started business in 1929 as Rockford Screw Products Co.
    No matter what, the final resolution of the bankruptcy is bad news for stock-holding workers at the employee-owned company. Because the Chapter 11 proceeding is a sale of Rockford Products’ assets to the private equity firm, their company stock will soon be essentially worthless."

    Rockford is in Illinois' 16th congressional district which is "represented" by one of the biggest free trade Congressmen in the entire Congress, Don Manzullo.

    Mr. Manzullo has voted for every single trade bill in this list:

    HOUSE VOTES

    NAFTA (H.R. 3450) November 17, 1993 roll call 575
    Passed 234-200
    Republicans 132-43
    Democrats 102-156

    GATT/WTO (H.R. 5110) November 29, 1994 roll call 507
    Passed 288-146
    Republicans 121-56
    Democrats 167-89

    WTO Withdrawal (House Joint Resolution 90) June 21, 2000 roll call 310
    Rejected 56-363
    Republicans 33-182
    Democrats 21-181

    Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 3009) July 27, 2002 roll call 370
    Passed 215-212
    Republicans 190-27
    Democrats 25-183

    U.S.-Singapore Trade (H.R. 2739) July 24, 2003 roll call 432
    Passed 272-155
    Republicans 197-27
    Democrats 75-128

    U.S.-Chile Trade (H.R. 2738) July 24, 2003 roll call 436
    Passed 270-156
    Republicans 195-27
    Democrats 75-128

    CAFTA (H.R. 3045) July 28, 2005 roll call 443
    Passed 217-215
    Republicans 202-27
    Democrats 15-187
    Independent 0-1

    U.S.-Oman Trade (H.R. 5684) July 20, 2006 roll call 392
    Passed 221-205
    Republicans 199-28
    Democrats 22-176
    Independent 0-1

    From Congressman Manzullos' web site comes this:

    Manzullo Export Bill

    "U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Egan) today joined three of his House colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation that would modernize the federal government’s inefficient export control policy by strengthening national security and helping American companies sell more defense-related goods and services overseas to our allies."

    Since Manzullo took office, Rockford, "the fastener capital of the world" has lost 15,000 manufacturing jobs.

    In "Illinois in the Second World War" Volume Two, The Production Front, the Rockford companies of Barber-Coleman, Ingersoll, and Rockford Machine Tool Company were listed as significant contributors to the $684,000,000 of Rockfords' war production contribution towards the victory in 1945.

    Ingersoll had 3 units, two in the US, one in Germany. When it went bankrupt, Ingersoll International sold Ingersoll Production Systems (IPS, Rockford, Ill.), to Dalian Machine Tool Group Co., Ltd. (Dalian, P. R. China), which then acquired Ingersoll CM Systems in Michigan in 2003.
    Ingersoll Maschinen und Werkzeuge (Ingersoll Germany), was sold to Global M&A members, Brown Gibbons Lang & Co (BGL), based in Cleveland and Chicago, and InterFinanz, based in Dusseldorf, for US$79m in 2004.

    China DMT bought its crankshaft manufacturing factory in 2003.

    The Rockford Machine Tool Company is gone.

    The closed Barber-Coleman plant on the decaying west side is now a giant empty building.

    Not mentioned is the complete destruction of the Rockford furniture industry that supplied desks, chairs, filing cabinets, etc. for the war effort.

    Today, Rockford Illinois lacks the industrial capacity to fight World War II.

    This is our free trade Congressman's idea of "national security".

    Steve

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    'National Security', 'War against Terrorism', 'Strong on Homeland Security' etc...all convenient jingo to hoodwink the populace and bully critics into not oppossing laws that ultiamtely hurts the majority but works out great for the internationalists.

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    Rockford Products started business in 1929 as Rockford Screw Products Co.
    No matter what, the final resolution of the bankruptcy is bad news for stock-holding workers at the employee-owned company. Because the Chapter 11 proceeding is a sale of Rockford Products’ assets to the private equity firm, their company stock will soon be essentially worthless.

    The price for the company also means that the manufacturer’s dozens of unsecured creditors — several of which are local job shops — will get little, if any, of the money owed.

    But the bottom line is that thanks to the sale, company will continue rather than go belly up, Silverman said.

    “From the point of view of employees, the continuity of relationships with suppliers, we’re happy with this deal,” Silverman said. “From point of view of maximizing value, I would have rather had a more robust bidding situation.”
    What does this have to do with "Free Trade", Mr. Autarky?

    Gene

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    The world is changing...get used to it.

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    YOu forgot about Greenlee in Rockford as well. they left town back in the 70's though. I spent an afternoon with one of the production managers from Rockford Products about a month ago. The company fiiled for bankrupcy months ago. It was just sold to settle the terms. The employees were told back in September that they should nont expect to have any free days between then and after Christmas due to the high backlog of orders. The person I was talking with seemed to think the problem had more to do with how the profits were being misused by upper management.

    I have simmilar feelings about how Ingersoll fell. It wasnt the cheap competition but bad decisions about business direction that set them on the course to closure.

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    It has a lot to do with "free trade"....

    The COMMON commment one hears from companies is that the "foreign competition" will bid basically "raw material" cost - less some small amount - for product.

    Our method of product import gives many countries SUBSTANTIAL advanatages every step of the way.

    Free trade is one thing. There are some good examples of that, even. But what we have right now is NOT "Free Trade" - it is US subsidized foreign importation.

    So Steve complains. When does the collapse stop?

    --jr

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    When does the collapse stop?
    Stop?? it's just getting started....

    You aint seen nothing yet...
    Wait till the Trans Texas Highway brings products across the border without stoping for so much as a recording of the trucks license plate and the drivers are pretty much all from Mexico and the items are paid for with Ameros..

    Get ready...it's comming

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    "... The person I was talking with seemed to think the problem had more to do with how the profits were being misused by upper management. "

    This is such a common problem today. One of the challenges that companies are faced with is one of succession (sp). Those that start, nuture and build a business from the ground up are generally not spendy. However, once the business is pasted on to the next generation and even worse yet to the third generation the issues really start to make themselves known. The subsequent generations often don't know the sacrificies that were made to build the business. Add to that a sense of entitlement and a lack of responsiblity toward those that they employ and you have a recipe for disaster.

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    There's a lifespan to companies as katiebo alluded. I personally hope to do well enough to have very disappointing grandchildren.

    Its okay that Rockford doesn't have the capacity to fight world war 2. That's because if and when it happens, we're going to have to fight world war 3.

    Old companies die, and baby companies grow up to replace them.

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    Old companies die, and baby companies grow up to replace them.
    Be a lot easier for "baby" companies to grow big and strong if they were not slammed with all sorts of regulations, arbitrary tort and irrational environmental laws.

    Naturally "old" companies sort of like these sort of regulations because it keeps baby companies baby sized or aborts 'em.

    Gene

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    Steve --

    I thought Comazzi of Italy re-animated Ingersoll in Rockford. Did they stumble?

    Given the dollar's decline relative to the Euro, I'd think a well-established European machine maker with substantial US manufacturing capacity would be sitting pretty about now.

    John

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    Gene just doesn't see it.

    Executives sucking billions out of corporations.

    Trade rules set to stack the deck against US
    ownership.

    All he sees is "tort reform." Hey gene, why
    don't you ask your buddy Trent Lott about that
    one? He was all for tort reform till he needed
    to sue an insurance company.

    Whoops, backpedal, backpedal, backpedal.

    Gene you need a new tune. Folks are plumb tired
    of hearing you blame the EPA for the mass exodus
    of american manfacturing.

    They can see the real story. Can you?

    Jim

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    I am not exactly in Gene's camp; but he has a valid argument. My employer moved most of our real manufacturing to Mexico, to escape the insane environmental regulations and constant litigation.

    The cost per completed circuit board actually went up, but since there is no liability south of the border, the end price was still a little less. The Mexicans are scared stiff because now their work is going to China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Once we are gone; the Mexicans will know how we felt about free trade.

    My current employer is about two hundred million in the red because of very bad decisions by upper management. About half of these business decisions made the evening news.

    Starting next year, my employer will build a new 400 million dollar office complex to house the North American management. The new palace for executives will be built in Rancho Bernardo California. We make no products and do no research in California. The president of of our company said they deserve a comfortable working environment. I wonder what happened to the huge office complex that was built for them seven years ago? It was built on the other side of Rancho Bernardo and apparently a two hundred million dollar office complex is just not comfortable enough.

    Here in the anal end of Pennsylvania; we lost over four thousand workers at my location and our roof leaks worse than the US Treasury. Apparently we can not appreciate a comfortable work environment.

    I say hang the shareholders.

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    I never cease to be amazed by how our government appears to, almost deliberately, destroy small US businesses.

    I make a product that contains a certain electronic part the requires an export licence. Getting the licence is a time consuming pain for a small business.

    The joke is that I want to export the product to Singapore. Guess where the part that requires the export licence is made - Singapore. I am tempted to get my products made in Singapore which would allow me to bypass this stupid regulation.

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    Camozzi has done quite a good job of reanimating Ingersoll. they do alot more contract machining than the old Ingersoll. Most of the machines now are assemblies of components brought in from some of Camozzies other operations. There have been no new "big mills" built in Rockford. I dont think Camozzi nor IMTA will stumble with this one.

  16. #16
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    Comatose
    Its okay that Rockford doesn't have the capacity to fight world war 2. That's because if and when it happens, we're going to have to fight world war 3.
    We don't even have the capacity to fight a Gulf war without begging to other nations for guaranteed supplies -

    "All of the critical components of our modern weapons systems, which include our F-16s and F/A 18s, our M-1 tanks, our military computers - and I could go on and on - come from East Asian industries….Some day, we might view that with concern and rightly so."

    Admiral James Lyons
    Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet


    "The Bush Administration was forced to intervene with foreign governments on over thirty occasions to guarantee delivery of critical military parts. As one high-level administration official commented: "If the foreign governments were neutral or were not disposed to help us out, we could have run into some real problems. We were sweating bullets over it and the military was sweating bullets too."

    Erik R. Pages
    Responding to Defense Dependence
    p. 11


    "Foreigners today control the U.S. companies responsible for the heat shield of the D-5 Trident missile and the flight controls of the B-2 bomber, the F-117 Stealth, and the F-22, the backbone of the twenty-first-century air force.
    Overseas factories are far more vulnerable to espionage, labor problems, sabotage, political dictation - and attack by enemy or terrorist forces. There is no guarantee that U.S. secrets are safe abroad. A clear and present danger exists when corporations with allegiance to no country gain virtual monopolies over items critical to U.S. security. During World War II, Stalin’s spies and our own homegrown traitors looted vital defense secrets, including those related to the atom bomb. Given this experience, for us to allow technology indispensable to our security to be kept outside the United States, vulnerable to theft or denial, is perilous folly."

    Pat Buchanan
    The Great Betrayal
    p. 320-321

    In October 2003, Dell Computer was chosen by the Boeing Corporation to serve a five-year contract that will provide Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (one of the world's largest space and defense corporations) with all of its desktop and notebook computers. Dell also holds contracts with West Point Military Academy, the Air Force, Army, and Navy. Michael Dell creates training and simulation programs for the Army, and has pointed out that upwards of 85 percent of military personnel training today is done through computers. His business has done well to supply the military with training programs and the hardware needed to run them.

    Barry Lynn, the former Executive Editor of Global Business magazine, examined this growing dependence on foreign-based suppliers in the June, 2002 issue of Harper’s. He reports that a large portion of America’s premier corporations have transformed themselves into little more than "virtual companies" that rely on a complex and far flung network of suppliers spread throughout the world to make the goods they sell. To illustrate this disintegration of the integrated manufacturing process that so long characterized the U.S. economy, Lynn reports on Dell Computer, a leading U.S. computer manufacturer and defense contractor, that in reality is little more than an assembler of foreign made components. While the company assembles its computers in the United States, the 4,500 parts used in one of its finished products come from dozens of suppliers clustered in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Malaysia. And although the lack of a single component can slow or stop the entire manufacturing line, Dell maintains an inventory sufficient for only 4 days production. If a typhoon, fire, revolution, strike, war, or any other event interrupts that long supply line across the Pacific for more than 96 hours, and if alternative parts cannot be located within that period and delivered to Texas, production ceases on the 97th hour.

    Pat Choate & Edward Miller
    The U.S. Industrial Base and China
    A Congressional Report
    p.7


    No aspect of computer and peripheral manufacturing has become more globalized than disk-drive production. In 1985, 93 percent of U.S.-owned disk-drive production was located in the United States. By 1990, two-thirds of these companies’ assembly was being performed in Southeast Asia, and three-fourths of all disk-drive parts were starting to be made in the region. By 1995, more than 60 percent of all global jobs in hard disk-drive production were created in Southeast Asia, including a rapidly growing share of sophisticated parts like motors and heads.
    Seagate Corp., for example, had located 14 of its 24 factories around the world in developing Asia - five in Thailand, four in Malaysia, three in Singapore, and one each in Indonesia and China as of 1995. These Asian factories employed more than 85 percent of the company’s global workforce. Seagate had kept much of the higher-end work in disk-drive manufacturing in the United States and Europe - principally the assembly of high-end drives and most component manufacturing, product and component development, prototyping, and initial process engineering. Even the low end of disk-drive manufacturing, however, is sophisticated work by any reasonable measure, and virtually all of this work is done in low-income Asia. Seagate’s simplest assembly is performed in Indonesia. More advanced assembly is done in Thailand and Malaysia, and Thailand is handling most of the final assembly of all types of drives, including the highest-end drives. Even some of the highest-end manufacturing work has been moving to low-income Asia. Seagate is now even making a wide variety of advanced components in Southeast Asia, and its Penang, Malaysia, facilities reportedly are producing MR heads, which incorporate the most complex technology in current disk-drive manufacturing. In addition, a McKinsey & Company study of Seagate’s globalization showed that its moves into new Asian countries has been heavily influenced by the lower labor costs offered.

    Alan Tonelson
    The Race To The Bottom
    p.109-110


    "Another example is the rare earth mineral market. Rare earth magnets are used in missile guidance systems. In 1992, Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping announced the expansion of China’s role in the rare earth market, proclaiming "There is oil in the Middle East; there is rare earth in China." Thus, the Chinese government embarked on a detailed strategy to control the rare earth market. As part of this strategy, two Chinese firms acquired a U.S. rare earth magnet producer. In 1995, San Huan New Materials and
    China Non-ferrous Materials Corporation partnered with U.S. investors to purchase Indiana-based Magnequench, whose parent company was General Motors. Magnequench manufactures rare
    earth magnets and magnet powders, used in computer hard drives, a variety of other consumer electronics, and guidance systems. Due to concerns about the defense applications of the magnets, CFIUS
    reviewed the case, yet approved the transaction partially based on a commitment that the Indiana facility would remain in the United States. Eventually the whole facility was moved to China. This deal
    and subsequent deals around the globe have allowed China to come closer to cornering the market in rare earth minerals. Of equal concern is the transfer of technology, including patents, allowing
    China to control development of next-generation products using rare earth minerals. Additionally, the recent bid for Unocal by the Chinese company CNOOC may have been another piece of this strategy, as Unocal owns Molycorp, a U.S. rare earth mineral mine.

    2005 Report To Congress of the U.S.-China Economic And Security Review Commission
    p.101


    Since 1995, the Commerce Department has done fewer than a dozen defense industrial capability assessments. In 1992, the Commerce Department did one of the first studies of U.S. reliance on foreign suppliers for critical components in weapon systems. In that study, three representative Navy systems were chosen for analysis - the HARM (high-speed anti-radiation missile); the Mark-48 ADCAP (advanced capabilities) torpedo; and the Verdin communication system. Almost 12,000 companies participated in this study. What the Commerce Department researchers found is the supply matrix is not pyramid-shaped, but diamond-shaped. This means the Navy had a core of sub-tier suppliers that were unknown and thus "could be bottlenecks during a surge in production". The study identified 115 distinct items where a foreign dependency existed, including high-tech items such as semiconductor ceramic packaging and needle roller bearing wire rod.

    In October 2001, the DoD released a "Study on the Impact of Foreign Sourcing of Systems". The DoD collected and evaluated information on eight weapons systems from subcontractors - these responses were all voluntary.

    The average response rate for first tier contractors was 58%. For third tier subcontractors it was 39%. The DoD didn't investigate below third tier subcontratcors. Yet, the diamond shaped supply matrix found in the Commerce study exists at those levels - among those who supply low-cost, commodity items. This level of subcontractor depends on commodity technologies, much of which comes from factories in China and the countries that surround it.

    In 2001, the U.S. dependence on foreign defense-related goods was as follows:

    Resin, synth rubber & fibers..........62%
    Pharmaceuticals & medicine..........72%
    Chemical products..........66%
    Rubber products..........61%
    Alumina & alum processing..........61%
    Ag & construction mach..........52%
    Metalworking mach..........51%
    Engines, turbo, power eqpt..........56%
    Computer equipment..........70%
    Communications equipment..........67%
    Audio & video equipment..........70%
    Semiconductors & elect..........64%
    Navix, measure, med instru..........62%
    Magnetic & optical media..........56%
    Electrical equipment..........61%
    Electrical equip & comp..........61%
    Motor vehicle parts..........58%
    Med equipment & supplies..........52%

    In addition, imports represented 46% of all basic chemicals and 47% of all industrial machinery purchased in the United States.

    Pat Choate & Edward Miller
    The US Industrial Base and China

    Steve

  17. #17
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    Gene just doesn't see it.
    Gene doesn't view things through the lens of class struggle. Gene doesn't like pomposity and conceit. Gene would rather have diversity of viewpoint and dilution of power.

    Jim thinks he knows things that may not be so. Jim thinks in terms of class struggle. Jim thinks that he can solve problems at gunpoint.

    Jim wants to concentrate power into the hands of an elite and let the elite think for him.

    Jim doesn't trust people. Jim trusts institutions and raw power.

    Jim's point of view should have died with the USSR but since Jim didn't suffer anything from it Jim is free to suggest irresponsible "solutions" to problems that may not even exist.

    Executives sucking billions out of corporations.
    Exaggerations...

    Trade rules set to stack the deck against US ownership.
    Examples?

    All he sees is "tort reform." Hey gene, why
    don't you ask your buddy Trent Lott about that
    one? He was all for tort reform till he needed
    to sue an insurance company.

    Whoops, backpedal, backpedal, backpedal.
    Trent Lott sues an insurance company and suddenly there is no demand for tort reform?

    Tobacco Lawsuits - States Attorney General sue a manufacturer of a legal product, a product that has been labled for thirty years as dangerous, and suddenly decreed as "defective"...

    You don't see the injustice of this, Jim? I do. The people who pushed this infamy ought to take cells next to the executives of Enron.

    Tobacco Lawsuits have destroyed confidence in our legal system. Tobacco Lawsuits attack the foundations of prosperity and liberty.


    Gene you need a new tune. Folks are plumb tired of hearing you blame the EPA for the mass exodus of american manfacturing.

    They can see the real story. Can you?
    No. I don't pretend to know reality. I don't think since I read the New York Times that I have some sort of insight into the world.

    The EPA has a role to fulfill. Congress has given them far too much power. EPA should obey Congress, not the Courts and not the Activists. That's my take on it.

    EPA needs to balance their regulations with the consequences. That's my take on it.

    People who want antiseptic air and water need to learn about "diminishing returns". That's a basic rule of economics.

    Gene

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    I never cease to be amazed by how our government appears to, almost deliberately, destroy small US businesses.

    I make a product that contains a certain electronic part the requires an export licence. Getting the licence is a time consuming pain for a small business.

    The joke is that I want to export the product to Singapore. Guess where the part that requires the export licence is made - Singapore. I am tempted to get my products made in Singapore which would allow me to bypass this stupid regulation.
    Meanwhile for a campaign contribution Loral Space Systems was able to assist the Chinese in making their rocket systems more accurate. I'm sure when they field the Dong Feng 41 ICBM that they'll appreciate Loral's contribution. You need permission to export a certain component but Loral can make Chinese ICBMS that are pointed at American cities more accurate.

    Same for Sun Systems sending them advanced computer systems. Makes it a lot easier to miniaturize nuclear warheads.

    For a long time US software had to have weak encryption. The reason for this is because strong encryption was considered a weapons system. You needed an export license.

    In a rare attack of common sense the Clinton Adminstration backed off the ITAR regs.


    There are so many other regulations.... tens of thousands of them in the CFR. The list grows each day.

    What enrages me is that people want to control industry but do not want to accept the risk or consequences of their actions. They just want to control things.

    They seem to believe that business exists at the sufferance of the people. That anyone who does anything other than grub for a living owes everyone else something.

    Who is John Galt?

    Gene

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    I feel let down.... There are so many better ways to elegantly complain about the state of affairs....

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    "People who want antiseptic air and water need to learn about "diminishing returns". "

    Translation: they need to allow corporations to
    pollute with impunity.

    Elite?

    Gene I've been against corporate power since the
    git-go. You know that. Everyone who posts here
    has that concept understood.

    The Elite in the US are the corporate execs and
    I've been railing against them for years. I
    suggest you need to re-think your diatribes if
    you believe I back the Elite.

    Go have some turkey gene.

    Jim


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