Feedback: Bias built into many countries

Several subscribers commented on "Think Again: Grow past 'not made here' bias." (CE, p.35, April 2006, www.controleng.com/archive), which suggested that undue national patriotism in product selection "encourages less-competitive firms to not invest in engineering, skills, and technologies that can upgrade productivity, quality, and competitiveness.

06/01/2006


Several subscribers commented on 'Think Again: Grow past 'not made here' bias.' ( CE , p.35, April 2006, www.controleng.com/archive ), which suggested that undue national patriotism in product selection 'encourages less-competitive firms to not invest in engineering, skills, and technologies that can upgrade productivity, quality, and competitiveness.'

Robert L. Sheets, engineering manager, Wright-K Technology, a Michigan-based custom machine builder, responded in part that most world-economy proponents fail to recognize that some jurisdictions don't see things as equal, but formalize domestic advantages 'as a strategic initiative in their national agendas.'

'Just go to one of these countries and try and compete,' Sheets says, and 'you will find that very 'not made here' bias is not just present but part of the system! They only put on a face till they have a sufficient technology base, and then you're not competitive anymore.

'Many industries are targeted by foreign governments who subsidize them to strengthen their international position. Try to sell domestic equipment to their 'transplant' activities here in our country and you come away knowing what it feels like to have 'minority supplier status.''

Sheets says his company has lost projects 'to foreign competitors whose product, when delivered, was not to the quoted specifications. When the customer is asked how can you let them do that when you have never let us, we are told, 'their price was much lower.'... Am I a victim of the 'not made here' bias or unfair international competition? History will decide.' For more about his company, visit www.wright-k.com .

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