Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Voices from the Past: Japanese Tackle Threatens Canadian Manufacturer (1950)

Ken Kerr sent in the following clipping from the March 30, 1950 Toronto Globe & Mail. It refers to the impact of the burgeoning post-war Japanese tackle trade on the Canadian tackle market. I've written often and at length on Japanese imported tackle and its effects on American companies, but it was fascinating to see that our northern neighbors were also hit hard by the flood of inexpensive tackle.

Layoffs Loom: Cheap Japanese Imports Hit Fishing Tackle Firm

Cobourg, March 29. The latest protest against cheap Japanese imports was sounded here today by Frank Edgar, owner of the Lucky Strike Bait Co.

Mr. Edgar said that between 15 and 20 employees will be laid off as a result of unrestricted importation of Japanese-made fishing tackle. His plant is the only company in Canada which manufactures brass barrel swivels and fishhooks used in artificial lures.

Edgar said that 1950 production will slump from 8,000 gross of swivels to about 5,200 as a result of Japanese competition. He said that the Japanese product is being dumped on the Canadian market at 50 cents a gross, as compared to his own price of $1.50 a gross.

He referred to Trade Minister Howe's admonition to Canadian manufacturers to make products which were being imported from the United States and draining dollar resources.

"I, for one, put in extra machinery, spent money on research and began making items previously imported from the United States," Mr. Edgar said. "Now I am faced with the spectacle of Japanese competition which is simply overwhelming because of the low prices asked for their goods."

His Cobourg plant was started in 1945 and employs 28. Another plant in Peterborough employs 40.

-- Dr. Todd

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