Editors' BlogMarch 24, 2007

Another Look at China

__"In a fight between you and the world, bet on the world." __

--Franz Kafka

We got a fascinating letter from reader David Selman on Mike Stachura's story about golf equipment manufacturing in China. Selman, whose  Kimberlite company supplies raw materials to the Taiwanese, says he fears that increasing pressure on price will erode quality. "I have been supplying the Taiwanese foundries with American steel and other products for 21 years.  In that time I have seen all of them set up factories in China and Vietnam.   That has led to a relentless search on their part for cheaper raw materials.  This has impacted negatively on my business as well other U.S. suppliers and ultimately on the quality of the raw materials used to make clubs...."

But, says Selman,__ "You might find it interesting that a lot of U.S.-made products are used to make Chinese golf clubs.    1)       Electralloy 17-4, 450, and AM-355 AOD ingot for casting 2)       AK Steel and Carpenter Technology stainless steel sheet for crowns and face inserts 3)       Engineered Ceramics crucibles for melting the metal 4)       Nalco Chemical Company Colloidal Silica for making a quick dry ceramic shell 5)       VOD 17-4, 15-5, and 450 bars 6)       High-quality stainless steel U.S. aerospace scrap metal. I have no idea how much longer I will be able to sell these products to the Taiwanese in China as they are relentlessly pressured to lower costs by their U.S. customers." __

I don't understand half of what's on that list, but I do know Mr. Selman has made his point: There's always more to the story, even if that story is written in Chinese.

--Bob Carney

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