Importing Indian rosewood to Gibson guitar plants, and customs office reaction

A New York Times article (August 31, 2011) describes a raid on factories owned by the Gibson Guitar Corporation that disrupted the company’s supply chain. The focus is on rosewood and ebony fingerboards imported from India. While Indian laws prevent exports of fingerboard lanks that are more than a centimeter thick to protect woorworking jobs, Gibson maintains that the Indian trade officials permitted these exports.   Should the US customs department interpret Indian laws and shut down US manufacturers ? Should Gibson have been given an opportunity to adjust their supply chain impact or is the cost of the disruption justified ? Given the adhoc reason for the Indian protectionist laws, is enforcement in the US appropriate ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Service Operations, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Importing Indian rosewood to Gibson guitar plants, and customs office reaction

  1. Disclaimer: I love Gibson guitars and own one.
    I think the Green Police have taken over the US on this front. The role of the executive branch is to enforce OUR laws. The role of the judicial branch is to interpret OUR laws. It is up to India to determine if Gibson broke exporting laws, and they would have to notify US officials of that. If they did not, I think the US government overstepped its boundaries.
    On the Supply Chain, I struggle with understanding why trees are so protected. They are renewable, and I see no reason why a rotated “crop” of ebony cannot be harvested for guitars. This is a highly skilled craft, and Gibson has to protect its trade. Making high quality guitars is not something Gibson can export to another country. The finished vs. non-finished wood exporting policy by India hurts companies that need specialized wood for a specialized process.

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