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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.