CNJ Editorial- What about a Knife Industry Bailout too?

The pocket knife industry is continuing to experience tough times. The reasons for this have nothing to do with the current fiascos involving mortgage backed securities, the credit crunch or the real estate bubble fallout. Instead it has more to do with cheap imports and the over-supply of knives available here in America.

Free Trade-

Trying to balance “free trade” is tricky. Today, the US is tremendously affected by the global economy. And while our government (and the American consumer) wants foreign made products, there has to be a balance in order to protect our industries. 

Even before the current recession, the government favored its agenda and consumer demand (for foreign products) over the interest of US businesses.

If you look back over the history of American knife companies- going back to the late 1800s and early 1900s- the US Government had taken proactive steps to protect the knife industry. These actions were usually brought about by the knife industry execs going to Capital Hill to plead their case (which isn’t happening today, incidentally). 

Taxpayer Money?

I’m not advocating the knife industry be assisted with US taxpayers’ money, like Wall Street, the US Banks, Insurance Co.’s, the Auto Industry and the Airlines, but I do think the Government should help industries before they get to that stage by putting in place or raising the duties paid by foreign firms selling products here in the US.

I take this position for two reasons: First, it is a proactive position. How many more American knife companies have to go under, before the Government realizes we have a problem? You bet I am for the free enterprise system, but it has gotten much more complicated in today’s global economy on knowing where to draw that line. Also, we know the knife industry will never even appear on the radar of warranting any form of a bailout because the ripple effect of it failing won’t create a crisis like the aforementioned industries, nor will it affect a large enough segment of our population.

Protect the Industry

Therefore, it is time to increase tariffs/taxes on the imports…not to stop them from coming in, but to help equalize the prices, and help make our cutlery industies’ products be more competitive. Not only will this help the industry, it will help our economy by protecting the valuable jobs of those employed by these firms.

So what say you? Feel free to post a comment or send a Letter to Editor.

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Published in: on November 2, 2008 at 1:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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