Letter to the editor
February 4, 2002,
It's been almost 25 years since I attended my first Heimtextil Exhibition in Frankfurt. Having been brought up on New York jobber markets and early drapery and window covering shows, Heimtex was awesome. The color, designs, the displays, the different languages, cultures was most impressive. And then there was the U.S. pavilion, … the crème of the New York convertor and mill companies.
The face and roster of the companies in the American pavilion are nowhere near the roster that used to attend. The image once given by the large mills and convertors is gone. Perhaps … they decided to go off on their own … with very large stands at extremely high prices. As business conditions changed, the cost … may have become too much to justify.
Now … many of the large American exhibitors with great names are for the most part just not showing at all. I am wondering if it's not time to go back to that point where the U.S. pavilion, with smaller stands and lesser expense, would be the right venue for these companies to rejoin the international sales community. I know to do so would call for a bending of the rules by the U.S. government in terms of what's shown and what's sold on these stands. I find this somewhat of a paradox, since regardless of where goods are made, if they are sold by American suppliers, U.S. warehouses are used, employing Americans using U.S. freight and U.S. offices, all of which pay U.S. taxes.
The United States has lowered our duty rates and quotas to a point where incoming goods from other nations have found their way into great use by the American decorative fabric industry. These rates were lowered by the U.S. government — the same government that inhibits the selling of these products at U.S. pavilions, even [given the above mentioned benefits].
I am complaining about … what could be done to further enhance the quality level of U.S. exhibitors and the impression such a change would have on foreign buyers at the U.S. pavilion. I've been told that it is a couple of Senators from North and South Carolina … who are standing in the way of progressive legislation.
Does this make common sense?
Stanley Fradin, president, Rockland Mills division, Rockland Industries Inc.