For Immediate Release
February 23, 2011
Casey Joins Martin Guitar to Urge China to End Unfair Trade Practices
WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, today joined C.F. Martin & Co. urging China to end unfair trade practices that harm workers and businesses in the Lehigh Valley and around the country.
“Pennsylvania businesses are telling me that unfair trade practices by the Chinese have harmed their ability to compete and job losses substantiate those claims,” said Senator Casey. “The lack of protection on the part of the Chinese hurts C.F. Martin & Co. and countless other businesses and workers. China must address intellectual property rights infringements and currency undervaluation.”
“We are greatly honored to have an ongoing relationship with Senator Casey and we can't express in words how much we appreciate his openness and willingness to assist us in rectifying our dilemma with respect to protecting our valued trademark in China,” said C.F. Martin IV, Chairman and CEO of C.F. Martin & Co. “This is not an easy issue and we hope that such a significant and caring voice will help to get positive action on this vital and frustrating issue.”
Since 2005, Martin Guitar has fought to register its mark with the Chinese government to protect its brand and to prevent Chinese individuals from selling counterfeit guitars.
Last month, Senator Casey sent a letter to President Obama detailing the hardships imposed on C.F. Martin & Co. by China’s unfair trade practices and urging him to press the issue with Chinese President Hu Jintao during his visit to Washington. In the letter, Senator Casey urged President Obama to focus his discussions with Hu around intellectual property rights (IPR) protections and currency valuation.
China’s inadequate intellectual property protections are well documented, the letter stated. Last April, the Office of the United States Trade Representative placed China on its Priority Watch List, citing China’s poor level of IPR protection and enforcement.
It is estimated that 2.4 million jobs have been lost in the U.S. since China joined the WTO in 2001; 95,700 of which were in Pennsylvania.