Jacobs to bring dumping issue to consumers

MINNEAPOLIS – Genmar Chairman Irwin Jacobs spoke out about the dumping controversy once again yesterday in a letter sent to the company’s dealers and to U.S. boat manufacturers.

In the letter, Jacobs said he plans to “take my beliefs and facts to the U.S. boating consumer” by purchasing full-page advertisements in both consumer and industry boating magazines.

The letter was written in response to Mercury Marine’s recent declaration that it has asked the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission to exclude certain powerheads from their dumping investigation.

“Brunswick and Mercury have forced many companies and people, including the United States government, to waste and spend enormous time, energy and money on their worthless, self-serving anti-dumping case that didn’t and shouldn’t ever have been allowed in the first place,” wrote Jacobs. “With all the inconvenience Brunswick and Mercury have caused up until now, I believe and would hope the ITC and DOC doesn’t accept Brunswick and Mercury’s request to preclude four-stroke engine heads from the case, without dropping their entire anti-dumping case.”

Jacobs suggested that the reason behind Mercury’s decision to make such a request is that the company has “concluded they cannot get along without Yamaha products, and they obviously must have further concluded they were going to ultimately lose the case they filed against Yamaha with the DOC, ITC and the up-and-coming arbitration.”

He further suggested that Mercury has been hurt by the dumping controversy, both through a reduction in engine sales and “negative publicity.”

In an attempt to support his previously stated opinion that Mercury Marine has been damaged in the U.S. market because of the superior products of its competition, Jacobs directed readers to study recent J.D. Power consumer reports, which he says support his argument, as Yamaha has received top marks from consumers for their products.

Lastly, he questioned whether the U.S. government should be helping Brunswick and Mercury “level the playing field,” given the company’s global manufacturing and sourcing strategy, which he suggested may result in future layoffs of U.S. workers in favor of moving jobs overseas.

“I want to state for the record that I am not against the free enterprise system in outsourcing or manufacturing offshore,” he wrote. “However, in the case of Brunswick and Mercury, I believe it is the most outright, two-faced, hypocritical thing I have ever seen attempted by an American company.”

Jacobs added that he plans to attend the dumping hearing scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C. on December 14 to provide testimony and urged readers to attend.

Mercury Marine was unable to comment in time for this article.

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