For years the residents of this economically distressed hollow in the Appalachians have watched textile mills, glass factories and tire makers close down one after the other. Now its lone remaining big factory ” “the last man standing,” as the production manager at the paper mill here put it ” is threatened by imports of cheaper paper made in China.
“We’re still the economic engine for this whole area,” said Scott Graham, the production manager, referring to the river valley and forested hills surrounding the mill. “But our operations cannot compete with these below-cost imports.”
It is a familiar story in the struggle of the American industrial base to cope with globalization, but this one may have a different ending. [Full Text]