Texas Congressman to Marlin Steel: I love that you are exporting to China

Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt

Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt

Texas Rep. Pete Olson

Texas Rep. Pete Olson

There was a great exchange between Houston-area Congressman Pete Olson and Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt during a joint hearing of subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill yesterday.

“Mr. Greenblatt, I’m thrilled to hear about the growth of your company in Baltimore … and I’m wondering how to bring your business to Texas,” the congressman said. “I love the fact, too, that you’re exporting to China.” Continue reading

Bill Gates on CNBC: Why IP theft is greatest in China?

Bill Gates_CNBC_IP TheftBill Gates this morning on CNBC talked about the gravity of intellectual property theft in China, where he says Microsoft products get used 10 times as much as they actually get licensed:

“China has been a disaster if you say per unit of your product that gets used, how much do you get paid. It’s been over 10-1 versus the United States and even like 4-1 versus India. and so it is a uniquely high piracy market. Now … that number’s been coming down somewhat.

Gates, chairman of the software company he founded, said the numbers have been much higher in China than elsewhere because government offices and big companies in China frequently don’t pay for software they’re using. That’s uncommon in western countries, where software piracy is more typical at smaller companies or more individual levels, he said.

Marlin Steel has been active on this issue, through owner Drew Greenblatt’s leadership on the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI). NAJI is specifically seeking to heighten awareness about the economic costs of intellectual property theft. Marlin Steel has reported on its own experiences of its intellectual property being pirated in China and India.

IndustryWeek article quotes Marlin Steel president on the hidden threat of IP theft

Recent article in IndustryWeek quotes Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt about the threat posed by intellectual property theft to U.S. manufacturing:

Many times, Greenblatt notes, companies aren’t even aware that their secrets are being stolen. After giving a speech on the topic recently to a National Association of Manufacturers meeting, two CEOs of large companies came up to him and told him that the FBI had informed them that they had been the subjects of cyberattacks. In one case, the company’s network had been infiltrated with software that was sending to China all their new designs every three months.

IP theft: Wow, that steel wire basket looks like ours? It IS ours

Inc magazine logoFrom Drew Greenblatt’s latest column in Inc. magazine on how intellectual property theft is undermining U.S. manufacturing — and Marlin Steel:

On multiple occasions, I’ve come across images of wire and sheet metal baskets on Chinese and Indian competitors’ websites. They don’t just look like our baskets. They are our baskets, being portrayed as the fruit of someone else’s engineering.


Marlin Steel wire form web image

Chinese competitor wire form web image

Chinese competitor wire form web image

My IT consultant has come across pilfered images of our baskets on Google searches so often she says it’s like “fishing in a coffee cup.” The thieves typically smudge off our watermark with photo software. One telltale sign: The basket is skewed to the bottom of the image so their watermark surgery isn’t so obvious. Other times, they’re so brazen they simply leave the Marlin logo on the photo. Intellectual property theft is an enormous and growing burden for American business. Count us as one of the many victims. Imitation may be flattery, but in this case it has the potential to flatten businesses. Read more … 

America makes, the world breathes

Alexandria Liu and friend horseback riding in Beijing

Alexandria Liu and friend horseback riding in Beijing

We received a welcome e-mail recently from Alexandria Liu, a bright master’s student at Peking University. We met Alexandria during a trade-mission trip to Asia that we took with Governor O’Malley and a business contingent from Maryland in 2011. Alexandria recently sent a photo of her with a friend on horseback in Beijing. They seemed to be riding in a cloud, so thick was the smog. In the photo, the trees were only 200 feet behind her, as she described it, but you could barely make them out. After being out in the elements for two hours, Alexandria and her friend were sick with a sinus infection for two days, she wrote.

Recent news reports about the horrific air quality there appeared in the Los Angeles Times and in a Washington Post blog. The blog even mentioned a Twitter account @BeijingAir tied to a monitor a top the U.S. Embassy in Beijing that continually spits out air quality readings.

At Forbidden City, Beijing (Drew in striped shirt and shorts, middle)

At Forbidden City, Beijing (Drew in striped shirt and shorts, middle)

We noticed the severe conditions on our trip to China. The smog in Shanghai was stunning. The Yangtze River there is about as wide as the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, but you couldn’t see across it. Amid President Obama’s emphasis this week on reaffirming a commitment to combat climate change, it might sound counter-intuitive but bringing back more manufacturing to the United States would help. Continue reading

Why future’s brightening for U.S. manufacturing

Liked this piece today on Huffington Post by Jerry Jasinowksi, a former president of the National Association of Manufacturers, about why the future appears to be brightening for U.S. manufacturing:

By Jerry Jasinowski

While the immediate prospects of the U.S. economy are bleak, and nothing happening in Washington suggests an early improvement, there is more than ample reason to believe our economy can look forward to better times in the not too distant future. Continue reading