Elections, Gretchen Whitmer — October 14, 2022 at 6:10 pm

Tudor Dixon’s “small business” is driving US refractory manufacturers out of business


During last night’s gubernatorial debate, GOP nominee Tudor Dixon asserted that a difference between her and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was that Dixon was a small business owner, whose company had been “crushed during the pandemic by Whitmer’s Covid policies.”

Curious, I decided to look into Dixon’s “small business.” Here’s what I learned…

Dixon’s business, Cornerstone Foundry Supply (CFS), manufactures nothing–it’s a reseller of imported ceramic parts from the Czech Republic and Italy. It’s also really small–from its inception in 2015 until 2021, the company employed exactly 1 person; then in 2021 the payroll increased to 3 employees in total. Which also calls into question Dixon’s claim that Gov. Whitmer’s Covid policies “crushed” her business.

Now, I just happen to know a fair number of ceramic engineers, so when I learned that Tudor Dixon’s “small business got crushed during the pandemic,” I was intrigued.

So what does CFS actually do? A person with 30+ years of experience in this industry gives this summary of the company:

“Kind of sleazy, but it’s a US firm that imports cheap ceramics from eastern block companies to better compete against US companies like Vesuvius and others. You see it a lot with old US former sales guys repping Chinese companies to steal away business from US firms (by undercutting them) in price.”

But wait–there’s more.

James Blair, the chief strategist for the Dixon campaign, made the following statement in an article from the Heartland Signal:

“These are highly specialized products of which there is very limited supply in the U.S. But these products are essential to U.S. manufacturers’ ability to produce steel castings and continue operating. Without them, many U.S. manufacturers would not be able to keep up with the demand for the products they make.”

One of my sources had the following response:

“Not sure their US competitors would agree with the comment about limited supply in the US. If this company is only importing goods from other countries to compete with US mfg…and not manufacturing here themselves…how exactly is that good?”

My other source said this:

“It is this low cost competition that has driven the U.S. manufacturers for these refractories out of business allowing the foreign companies to creep in and gain market share. ”

Ms. Dixon can say she’s a small business owner as much as she likes, but her “small business” makes no products here in Michigan, seems to exist solely to compete against American manufacturers by importing cheap materials and selling them at lower prices in an attempt to take business away from US companies, and is helping to drive US manufacturers out of business in the process.

Not exactly an American success story.

I’m voting for Gretchen Whitmer as Governor of Michigan. You should, too.