Regulatory Overreach: Obama Administration’s Case Against Gibson Guitar Drags On
Numerous Heritage research papers and postings on The Foundry in the past year have reported on the plight of Gibson Guitar, which has been accused by the Obama Administration of running afoul of the Lacey Act—one of the oldest U.S. environmental regulations. Gibson’s violations were deemed so severe that armed federal marshals entered its facilities in Nashville and Memphis in August 2011 and seized millions of dollars’ worth of guitars, which the government alleges may have been constructed of wood illegally harvested in Madagascar and India. As the months have dragged on with no charges yet filed in either case, however, it appears more and more that Gibson is the victim of a stunning example of regulatory overreach by the federal government.
In a recent interview with Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center’s “Forest Certification Audit project,” Gibson President Henry Juszkiewicz reviewed his company’s environmental credentials and critiqued the impact of green certification schemes on American business. He complained that the Lacey Act, a regulation meant to prevent the use of illegally harvested wood, is severely flawed in practice, because it includes “no prescription for actually obeying the law.”