Infrastructure bills lead to trade retaliation
May 18, 2009

The "Buy American" clauses in the economic-stimulus package passed earlier this year are making for some trade trouble between the United States and trading partners like Canada, according to the Washington Post. The nature of the world economy today is enough to make the "Buy American" clauses a mixed bag all around. Several of our suppliers, like Golden Harvest and Gorman-Rupp manufacture their products in the United States, and always have. But Gorman-Rupp has a Canadian division, and some of the products we sell, like handheld gas monitors for carbon monoxide and other hazardous gases, are manufactured in friendly countries like New Zealand and are protected by patent law. We are pleased, though, that companies like Golden Harvest and Gorman-Rupp are careful to obtain their metals from well-regarded and carefully-managed domestic sources. Quality control of that nature is extremely important.

Consider this spam message that recently arrived in our office inbox:
We wish to confirm you with full cooperate responsibility that we are end seller ready, willing and able to transact and sell the commodities, with the following specifications, terms and condition. Sales and purchases will be based on the following procedures: The product is used Train Rail Scrap with the specification of R50 & R65 as confirmed to the ISRI codes. Manufactured in Russia & Ukraine. The origin is South Africa. Quantity: 360,000 MT (Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand Metric Tons)
Spam messages like the above give us a hint as to where lots of cast iron is coming from today -- and that should be enough make a person think twice about making sure their metal equipment comes from reliable sources. We know where the metals in our gates and pumps come from. Do you?

May 2009
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last revised May 2009