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Feds demand 25 more bundles of Indian wood from Gibson Guitars
Ethan A. Huff,
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The federal government simply will not leave Gibson Guitars alone. According to a recent report in theNashville Business Journal, federal authorities have now demanded that Gibson hand over 25 more bundles of legally-obtained Indian wood on top of the several others it already confiscated during a massive raid back in August (http://www.naturalnews.com/033454_G…).
Like practically every single other guitar company in the world, Gibson imports a special type of wood known as Madagascar rosewood, as well as ebony, to produce its fretboards. Gibson has long obtained this wood legally from India and other places where it is grown, and has never knowingly violated any laws in producing its guitars which, unlike many other guitar brands, are still produced in the US.
But federal agents, acting on behalf of their own subjective interpretation of Indian law (which is not their job to enforce, by the way, especially when the Indian government has viewed the actions as legal), decided to target Gibson for the second time in two years, even though the company has not violated any US laws. Federal authorities claim that Gibson’s wood and ebony imports violate the Lacey Act of 2008, but both the US and Indian governments have long allowed the materials to be imported and exported without issue.
You can read a full transcript of Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz’ media statement following the August raid at the following link:
You can also watch a YouTube video of his statements here:
Despite the fact that Gibson has never even been formally charged with breaking any law, federal officials are now demanding that the company hand over 25 additional bundles of the expensive wood, which is easily worth several million dollars. And why, exactly, are they doing this? Because the Feds allege that in order for the wood to be legal, it would have had to have been manufactured into its finished product in India rather than in the US — and it was exported from India in only a semi-finished state.
Yes, outsourcing labor production is the only way Gibson can satisfy the US government at this point. And it appears that unless it complies with this ridiculous misinterpretation of the Lacey Act, Gibson can expect to be completely run out of business.
According to a recent report byThe Foundry, federal officials are increasingly using the Lacey Act to target legitimate businesses and “create legal traps for the wary and unwary alike.” In other words, by manipulating the interpretation of laws in varying countries, the Feds are deliberately trapping businesses and individuals with illegitimate “violations,” and self-vindicating their illegal and unconstitutional search and seizure activities that follow (http://blog.heritage.org/2011/10/03…).
Sources for this story include:
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