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n this country are not available to us for the years compared and (2) Governlent import statistics (which do not include heavy quantities of high- and ledium-quality ceramics entering the United States duty free) are not coninuously analyzed for quality and composition.
However, we are discussing the position of manufacturers of quality ceramic rare in this country, and the decline in production volume here is clearly read, deluded are plastics and glass—whatever market inroads these two materials wy have made.
Within the ceramic field, it is obvious that American manufacturers have not een able to hold their own market against foreign producers.
After making due allowance for quality and composition of imports, the averge prices shown for the several countries listed betray the insuperable dlsadantiige that the equally efficient American manufacturers suffer by reason of lieir higher wage levels and, therefore, higher labor costs.
The efficiency gap has closed between these competing countries, but the wage ?rcLs (22 cents in Japan, 43 cents in Italy, 55 cents in West Germany, 61 cents i the United Kingdom, and $2.08 in the United States) remain—as they have >r decades—vastly disparate.
Id this 8-year period, foreign ware has been produced at stable and even delining prices. Domestic producers, however, with lower volume and heavier romotion expense induced by these imports plus greatly increased wage costs, ave been caught in a price-quality-cost predicament that further aggravates jeir competitive disadvantage.
Japanese imports in particular—regardless of quality and composition—are riced so low that products of like quality from other sources simply cannot >mpete. As a result, the Japanese exported 6,147,000 dozen of earthenware and 828,000 dozen of chiuaware to this country in 1956.
Though it must be obvious that imports of this nature and volume represent Isplacement and also forestall the development of domestic manufacturing Mnpetition, our escape-clause and section 336 applications for relief have been pnied, and United States tariffs and other protections have been reduced reeawdly over this period of years.
We consider this to be evidence, per se, that the Trade Agreements Act, as iministered, is not being used to protect a long-established industry in the tanner intended at the time this legislation has been passed and subsequently Bended.
Data on ceramic tableware for household use—Import* and domestic production for United States consumption analyzed (quantities in thousands of dozens)
'Constant report by 21 members of United States Potters Association, who account for the production of most of the high-quality earthenware tableware made in the United States. In 1956, only 20 potteries reported—1 small operation having been liquidated. By July 1, 1958, 7 other of the original 21 potteries reporting had been liquidated.
• Constant report by six members of the American Fine China Qulld, who account for the production of most of the high-quality, lightweight chinaware tableware made in the United States.
8 Derived. Relationship of shipments and value of shipments by guild members to that reported for total industry in 1948 Is assumed to be in some ratio as existed for 1950 plus 1951. Industry data drawn from Tariff Commission's escape-clause report dated February 6, 1953.
'As reported by U. S. Department of Commerce. Docs not Include substantial quantities and values of ware brought in duty free—principally over Canadian border. Includes all qualities of production.
Source: R. C. Cobourn, Syracuse China Corp., July 1, 19S8.
Senator Kerr. Mr. Car] Gustkey?
STATEMENT OF CARL W. GUSTKEY, AMERICAN GLASSWARE ASSOCIATION, ACCOMPANIED BY R. L. DAVIS
Mr. Gustkey. Senator Kerr and members of the committee: My name is Carl W. Gustkey. I am president of the Imperial Glass Corp. in Bellaire, Ohio.
I am testif}'ing before this committee today on behalf of my company and the manufacturing members of the American Glassware Association producing handmade, pressed, and blown table, stem, and ornamental glassware, and for cutters and decorators of glassware.
The manufacturing members we represent provide approximately 75 percent of the total dollar value of shipments produced by handmade glassware manufacturers in the United States.
Approximately 5,000 workers are dependent upon the companies in the industry for their bread and butter—many thousands more of their families depend upon their wages.
Reductions in tariffs on imported glassware competing with the domestic manufacturers have driven tariff duties down from as high »s 60 percent in 1930 to a low of 15 percent under various extensions if the act.
Handmade plants producing illuminating scientific and laboratory glassware have suffered in like measure under the act. Reductions in tariffs range from 70 percent, under the Tariff Act of 1930, down to 25^ percent under the present extension of the act.
These manufacturers make such products as electronic tubes, fire naming lenses, lenses for shipboard running lights and many other 'nirineered glass articles essential to the country in wartime.
In about the past 4 years 8 handmade glassware companies have sither gone out of business or their operations have been severely reitricted owing principally to import competition.
Within the past 2 months the famous A. H. Heisey Co.,of Newark, Jhio, has gone out of business and the Gill Glass & Fixture Co., mother handmade glassware plant in business for probably 50 years, *ased operations on June 29 and is being liquidated.
Altogether, within the past few years, 16 companies have been forced nit of business and their workers put out of their jobs.
Any application of further reductions in tariff under the act as )roposed, in our opinion, will drive the handmade glassware industry nexorably toward oblivion.
In this crucial situation of the industry we are left with no alternaive but to oppose the provisions of an act, which, if effectuated, will ilace the industry in the gravest danger and result in widespread unemployment and hardship in our communities.
The glassworker, unlike workers in other industries, is unprepared o work in other industries in a similar skilled position.
In most (or a very high percentage of) instances his skills were leveloped through generations of glassworkers in his family.
To accentuate this bit of information I would like to offer the testinony that in my own company, 53 years old, the average age of our killed workers is 54.
The industry recognizes the United States must honor its comnitmente and obligations but when our industry, let alone whole egroente of industry, composing an important part of our national conomy is seriously injured by import competition to the point of lusiness cessation in the only markets left in which to sell its products md. coincidentally, with exports practically eliminated, we submit t is time to reverse such a trend, and we believe now is the time.
Senator Kerr. I am not going to interrupt you at all.
Mr. Gustket. Go right ahead, sir.
Senator Kebr. But Mr. Weeks told us that exports were up.
Senator Bennett. Exports were 19 billion last year.
Senator Kerk. Nineteen billion dollars?
Mr. Gustkey. I touch further in detail on the exports of this group >f hand manufacturers further along.
Our figures are quite contrary to that, Senator Kerr.
Senator Kerb. All right.
Mr. Gustkey. Although we feel a number of changes could be made n the presently proposed act, there are two provisions considered particularly objectionable which, with the greatest justification, we strongly feel should be rectified.
First, the 25 percent tariff cutting provision over the next 5 years is altogether too great a reduction.
Also, an extension of the act for 5 years is too long a time.
Secondly authority to regulate commerce and trade as provided by the Constitution of the United States, should be returned to Congress. Specifically, the President should not be delegated the authority to reject the recommendations of the Tariff Commission.
The Tariff Commission's recommendations, passed by a majority vote should be final except in a situation of proven danger to the country.
In support of these views we lay before you pertinent information on the condition of the industry. Attached to your copy of this statement is exhibit A giving a comparison of handmade blown glassware with significant economic trends.
The source of information is the Department of Commerce.
In recent years there has been a tremendous economic upswing in the United States as indicated by the fact that the gross national product increased in value from $285 billion in 1950 to $434 billion in 1957—an increase of 52 percent.
During the same period, shipments of handmade blown glassware went down every year from 2,419,000 dozen in 1950 to 1,804,000 dozen in 1957—a drop since 1950 of 25.4 percent.
Senator Kerb. In order that I may understand, does that refer only to domestic production?
Mr. Gustket. Yes, sir.
Senator Kerb. In other words, during that same period shipments of domestic handmade blown glassware would be right?
Mr. Gustket. Yes, sir.
Import figures from the Bureau of Census are not yet available for 1957. However, it will serve the purpose to use 1956 figures to show the adverse balance of trade in handmade glassware items.
In this year after deducting exports from domestic shipments, United States consumption of handmade glassware made by domestic producers totaled $30,095,000 as compared to imports of like glassware amounting to $7,529,000. Thus imports have increased to 25 percent of the total shipments for United States consumption.
Senator Anderson. What does it normally run—what did it run in 1950?
Mr. Gustket. 1950?
Senator Anderson. You don't show what it normally is. This might be the normal figure.
Senator Kerb. In other words, you show the domestic production in 1950 was 2,419,000 of them, but you do not show what the imports were in 1950, do you, or is that later?
Mr. Gustket. Yes, sir; I do.
Senator Anderson. I did not see it
Mr. Gustket. Well, on exhibit A, when we get to that, sir, we will cover it if you desire to wait until then.
It is most difficult for the industry to recognize anything reciprocal about the present Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act when faced with the stark reality that in 1956 the value of domestic shipments totaled
$30,326,000 of which only eight-tenths of 1 percent, or $231,000 represented total exports of American-made handmade glassware.
The ruinous competition under the act from imported glassware continues to intensify and to disproportionately outstrip the consumption trend. It is anticipated that when the 1957 value of imported glassware is reported by Census the percentage of the domestic market taken over by foreign concerns will exceed 25 percent.
In addition to the lowering of tariffs, the low cost of production made possible by extremly low wages paid foreign glassworkers as compared to domestic glass wages, lias caused a disrupting influence on home markets.
Approximately two-thirds of the total cost of making handmade glassware is in the wages paid workers. The following comparison includes fringe benefits of both American glassware workers' wages and the wages of foreign workers. In the latter instance fringe wage factors have been accepted for use from the United States Department of Labor.
In December of 1956 the average wage of American skilled and unskilled workers was $2.23 per hour. The most recent earnings per hour of foreign glassworkers and, in certain instances related industries, shows Japan pays male and female workers an average of 30 cents; France, in glass, ceramics and construction materials, 54 cents to 71 cents; West Germany, males in the glass industry only, 64 cents; Italy, in the glass industry only, males and females averaged 60 cents; Belgium, male workers in nonmetallic minerals including glass, 56 cents; Sweden in the glass industry only males averaged 92 cents; and in the United Kingdom, in glass, males received 83 cents an hour.
Costwise, these wages show a tremendous advantage over the average $2.23 per hour paid by the glassware industry in the Uniited States. Low-wage scales resulting in low-cost foreign glassware, also have been responsible, in the main, for the exclusion of the industry from foreign markets.
The wage scales in the United States do not permit the manufacturers to sell their products in competition with foreign glassware in other countries. Even in our own hemisphere American manufacturers cannot compete for a part of the South American markets.
Twelve years ago our own company, Senator Kerr and gentlemen, exported into 14 different countries. Today Canada only is open to us.
Thus, on a note of conclusion regarding the proposed 25 percent tariff cutting provision over the next 5 years, we submit that our industry not only can stand no tariff cuts of any nature in the future, we say, on the basis of all of these specific jusifications that the industry is already suffering under the extension of the present act.
Now yve come to our second conviction that the Tariff Commission's recommendations should be final.
In 1952 the handmade glassware industry petitioned the Tariff Commission for relief under the escape-clause provision. The President rejected a 3-3 decision for the industry s relief.
Our testimony has demonstrated to you how imports are forcing the handmade industry to its knees in the only market left for its products—the home market in the United States.
Senator Kerr. Just one minute.