While factory work was once a large part of the American economy, the trend toward globalization and outsourcing has gutted many, and the rural towns that relied on them. But one man took a stand to ensure that made-in-America furniture didn’t face the same fate.
In the book “Factory Man,” writer Beth Macy tells the story of John Bassett III, a third-generation factory owner who bucked the trend and helped file one of the largest anti-dumping cases against China that the International Trade Commission has seen.
“Everybody in our industry was closing their factories, they were laying off workers, and they were moving offshore, Bassett told HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd. “We had to decide what would we do, and we decided to stay domestic.”
Bassett, who is part of what was the one of the largest furniture companies in the world, recounted how he dealt with the threat coming from the Chinese market.
“The mainland Chinese, which were the communist Chinese, were getting involved in the furniture business. And they made no bones about it that they felt that they could buy the business,” he said. “That’s the definition of dumping. They were going to sell their products under the cost of manufacturing... And they had every intention of running everybody else out of business.”
Instead of sitting back and watching rural factories fall to low-cost Asian imports, Bassett won his anti-dumping case, saving hundreds of jobs and reviving his town in Virginia.
Check out a clip of Bassett's conversation with HuffPost Live above, and watch the full segment here.
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