Sen. Toomey Tours Martin Guitar

Paola Giangiacomo

Senator Toomey has been visiting companies across the state to learn about their work and the challenges they face.

Challenges that he admits could stunt future job growth.

Senator Pat Toomey toured C.F. Martin and Company in Nazareth Monday.

The guitar manufacturer was established in 1833 and is highly regarded for its steel-string guitars and flattop acoustics.

The senator spoke to Martin company officials about various issues, including global intellectual property management and laws regarding the sourcing of hardwoods.

“The Important thing is I get to a chance to learn first hand the issues that could be an obstacle to even more job growth and I can go to Washington and deal with that,” said Toomey.

C.F. Martin and Company uses wood from not only all over the United States, but from around the world as well. The company is required to follow certain laws such as the Lacey Act. It prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, transported or sold. But the company says the law, which was enacted in 1990, is ambiguous.

“We support the intent of the Lacey Act and the good work it does to protect species but there are undefined consequences and ambiguity that we’re seeking clarification on,” Gregory Paul, vice president of Business Development for Martin Guitars.

“It’s not realistic for any company or the federal government to know every law that’s on the books of every country and since Martin has so many suppliers around the world we need a better mechanism for enabling them to comply with the law,” said Sen. Toomey.

C.F. Martin and Company is also looking for guidance on how to deal with counterfeiting of its products in other countries.

The Senator was very impressed with the level of craftsmanship and CF Martin’s ability to adapt over time and keep hundreds employed in the Lehigh Valley.

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