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Readers sound off: On drug violence in Mexico, free trade harming U.S. manufacturing, and kudos to The Extrusion Expert

A number of articles we published late last week drew extensive commentary from readers. From readers who described leaving Mexico after 7 years due to the increasing violence there, to the spirited discourse on whether free trade truly is harming U.S. manufacturers, to some very nice comments on our new Ask the Extrusion Expert column- we welcome all comments. Keep them clean, keep them civil but definitely keep them coming.

Glenn Beall's editorial that free trade and FTAs have harmed U.S. manufacturing caused some to question his argument, while others were in full agreement. Making a strong argument for free trade was a reader who commented, "Exporting is one of the fastest growing segments of our business! Isn't it natural and smart to see a potential customer base of 6 billion rather than 280 million?"

The give-and-take among readers was very positive. And one came out of the woodwork from Glenn's past, too, writing, "Glenn, I worked for you for 17 years and it was the best 17 years of my life. You ran the company well and we ALL profited from it. You had all molds built and run in this country-and still made a profit. I too believe greed is too rampant in this country."

Join the conversation on free trade here

Our senior editor Clare Goldsberry, who lives in Arizona and has been in-and-out of Mexico many times through the years, wrote her editorial on "Is Mexico shooting itself in the foot?", a reaction to the drug and gang violence in that country. Plenty of readers shared their own experience working in Mexico's plastics industry, and a few made the argument that legalizing and taxing sales of marijuana would solve much of the drug trade problem.  

One insider commented, "I worked in the El Paso/Juarez region for seven years. I left in 2008 because the violence was unimaginably out-of-control. Today, it continues.

Now, even cities that were once considered safe like Monterrey are becoming "killing fields".  When I hear statements like, "It's not affecting business...", I know that's the PR office talking. No one wants to admit that there is an issue. Moreover, no one wants to admit that the cartels are operating inside their facilities...and you can be sure they are. It is impossible to escape their influence while doing business on their turf...and that is a fact."

Agree? Disagree? Read Clare's article, your peers' comments and add your own via this link to the article on violence in Mexico and how it threatens the country's manufacturing future. 

Falling into the category "Pat yourself on the back" were reader comments to our new weekly column from Allan Griff. The column,  "Ask the Extrusion Expert," is an opportunity for readers to ask questions of Allan, one of the industry's sharpest minds and most helpful people too. Allan has the gift of explaining complicated chemistry and plastics processing issues in language that even those of us without his decades of experience can understand and put to good use.

Thanks to those readers and their positive feedback; here's a link to Allan's most recent column.    

Our thanks go out to all of our readers. Your feedback, be it positive or negative, is a great help in keeping us on course so we can meet our mission: to provide plastics processors with information they can use to run their businesses more efficiently and more safely.

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