About that Lacey Act (part 1)
I have been thinking quite a lot about this post, it’s a big important issue. It’s a topic where the guitar mfg. industry is intersecting with politics and the bigger world in general and that’s kind of fun. But also, because it’s something that I really do care about, and though DiPinto Guitars is not nearly big enough to be a real player in this debate, I can certainly blab about it to anyone who is willing to listen.
If you don’t know about the Lacey Act, here’s the nutshell version…it’s a bill from 1900 that banned the importation of animal products from countries where it was illegal to harvest those products. My best understanding is that it was written to try and stop the ivory trade. In 2008 it was ammended to add plant products too. And that is what all the fuss is about. There’s your job-killing government overreach, or whatever they are calling it on the Wall St. Journal editorial page.
I would just like to point out right now that for the last I-don’t-know-how-many years we’ve had to get a Fish and Wildlife license because the guitars we import (made in South Korea) have abalone and shell inlays. So that’s they way these things work. At some point, we showed up on somebody’s radar as an importer of products that contain abalone and mother of pearl, they keep our info on file and we all make sure that our guitars don’t have any endangered shells used as inlays. I don’t really have a problem with the extra 10 to 15 minutes and $100 it takes every year to renew my license.
Gibson Guitars is a huge company, and it takes them way more than 15 minutes and $100 to comply with the law, but this is basically why they are having such a tizzy-fit. Ok, so they got raided a few times. But you know how it is, raid me once, shame on you, raid me twice, shame on me. Although, that’s not how how their CEO Juszkiewicz sees it, he’s got the whole industry up in arms, he’s got NAMM on his side (it’s not the only issue I disagree with my lobby group about) he’s got Tea Party activists drooling all over themsleves to point out the needless governtment regulation, he’s got Ted Nugent ready to go arrow hunting to shoot down them pesky varmint government regulators.
But lets take a step back for a moment and see who does agree with this…
OK people… Mick Jagger and Sting. I don’t care WTF Ted Nugent has to say, you could not get higher profile artists than Mick Jagger and Sting. I don’t know why Gibson doesn’t embrace that rather than fight it (I don’t know, but I do have some ideas. That’s a subject for another post)
I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this issue, but that’s all for now.
More info about the Lacey Act: