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JCB's British suppliers feel global competition


Sir, I have great respect for the achievements of Sir Anthony Bamford and JCB.

To have established its products around the world as the company has done is an outstanding achievement.

But as a supplier of many years' standing to Sir Anthony's company I was more than a little surprised to read his exhortations to the rest of us to 'Buy British and make a difference' (Revved up, January 26).

British suppliers to JCB are all too well aware that the company has for some years been willing to exert considerable pressure to reduce prices by implying that the work in question could be sourced more cheaply abroad.

While I am unable to quantify to what extent this has actually happened, I doubt whether the threat was entirely empty. It is difficult for us to reconcile this kind of practice with Sir Anthony's patriotic soundbites.

British manufacturers live in the real world. We don't expect favours from anyone and in this respect are rarely disappointed.

But if Sir Anthony is serious about supporting us, may I suggest he starts in his own backyard.

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