Are US Companies to Blame?

Over at China Law Blog, Dan Harris, reports on Gary Rosen’s stance that American companies are to blame for this mess; because the importers and installers didn’t have the proper quality assurance methods in place to see if there were any problems with the drywall. In other words they didn’t test the new product and new manufacturer; even though many have done business with Knauf previously.

This brings to the forefront different points

  1. On who’s feet should responsibility lay? – The manufacturers, for making a faulty product? By the blog’s account, it is not illegal in their country. Should the importer be blamed for importing faulty products? Please don’t shoot the messenger. Maybe, the builder for building with a product from a company that provided faulty materials; even though most builders did business with Knauf and expected the same quality.  Remember Knauf is German, their subsidiary Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co is Chinese
  2. Who’s going to foot the bill of cleanup? – This is where paths diverge. Should the manufacturer pay? I don’t know of a high profile case (0r any) of a US company suing a foreign company in the US and collecting. Should the parent company pay? Should the State pay? Should the federal government pay? Should the homeowner pay? Should the insurance company pay? Should the builder pay?

Whoever pays, the payout will be a longtime coming.

Back to the original point. Are US companies to blame for using Defective Chinese Drywall? Given today’s international trade being so important in all the products we buy, we can’t expect them to test for every eventuality. When we buy American, often parts or processes of that product have originated other companies in other countries.  The only party privvy to knowing what was in the wallboard was Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co so they should take responsibility.

According to the New Orleans Business News the same drywall used here isn’t a problem in China. The theory as to why not has to do with our homes being more tightly built.

I don’t have the answers but I’d like to hear your suggestions.

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