There was a lot of China talk during last night’s debate. Even moderator Candy Crowley raised the “iPhone iPad” manufacturing issue, which was perhaps needed to produce some movement on CNN’s “undecided voter meter” after that boring trade policy talk. (Wonder if those underage Foxconn interns were listening, or at least the ones left after the riots and suicides over living/working conditions. Check out last week's brutal SNL skit, below. )
If there’d been time, we actually would have been interested in more China talk, specifically about the Chinese drywall litigation which, according to a New York Times article this week, has reached a “turning point” due to recent “decisions in state and federal courts." (For background, see our pior post on what we affectionately called the "Chinese Drywall hot mess").
Specifically, "[a] federal judge in Louisiana ruled last month in a drywall case that [Chinese manufacturer] Taishan Gypsum was responsible for its drywall sold in Florida, Virginia and Louisiana." (Taishan Gypsum had argued that it shouldn’t be liable because its drywall was “sold in this country by other companies.”) Also, “Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Joseph P. Farina ruled that the plasterboard company that exported the drywall to Florida was wholly owned and controlled by Taishan Gypsum, and therefore it was subject to the court’s jurisdiction,” and in fact had “actively targeted the Florida market by courting Florida companies, mailing drywall samples to Florida, selling large amounts of drywall to Florida-based companies.” Taishan Gypsum is appealing, but “lawyers representing homeowners and homebuilders suing over the suspect drywall suggested the rulings could have broad implications. In all, the lawyers said, about 7,000 to 10,000 homes suffered damage because of defective Chinese drywall installed in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and during a building boom in the South.”
Speaking of “hot messes,” the American Lawyer reported this week on how some U.S. corporate law firms trying to do business in China feel “caught in the middle” with all of this “get-tough attitude” on China. Poor babies. Seems like several firms have been representing huge Chinese telecommunications companies, which the U.S. House Intelligence Committee have labeled national security threats.
Yup, those retainers must be huge! No worries, though. As the old Chinese proverb goes, “If you have money you can make the devil push your grind stone.”