NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The head of Tennessee-based Gibson Guitar said Saturday that he strongly backs conservation as well as federal enforcement of laws meant to protect the tropical hardwoods that his company uses for instruments.
The comments by Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz follow an August raid by federal agents of Gibson factories in Nashville and Memphis. More than 10,000 fingerboards made from imported Indian rosewood were seized.
Juszkiewicz has said the company faces allegations of using wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers — a potential violation of the Lacey Act, which bans the import of illegal wildlife, plants and wood.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday at a tea party sponsored “We stand with Gibson” rally in Nashville, Juszkiewicz said he supports the intent of the act, but he called the requirement for Indian workers to finish the wood a “misuse of environmental law.”
“This is not about conservation or illegal logging, to my knowledge,” he said.
The Associated Press