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Fwd: Foreign Engineers Practicing in CA

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I would like to throw out a new area for discussion, that closely
relates to some of the more recent ones.

I have recently noticed that several projects that I have seen plans for
have been done by Mexican Engineering firms, with California Civil
Stamps on the plans.

To be quite honest, the quality of the drawings I saw was similar to
what a US firm might produce.  Obviously, a dollar in Mexico goes a lot
farther than a dollar in the US does.  So a Mexican firm can probably
drastically reduce the structural fee, and provide a comfortable income
for their employees.

I am aware of another Engineer that operates out of Taiwan.  He flies to
the US once a week to meet with clients, and uses the modem and FAX a
lot.  All of his engineers are in Taiwan, working for low wages, but
adequate wages for their country.  This guy mainly does mid to high rise
steel structures.  I have not seen his plans, but I am told they do a
very good job.

I suspect more and more of this is going to happen as developers seek to
lower their costs as much as possible, especially if they can maintain
the quality of their product.

What are we in the US to think and or do about this?  Are we to become
protectionists and try and keep these people out of our market?  Or is
there some other way we can successfully compete with these foreign
companies.  Right now I don't think these foreign companies are getting
a significant portion of the market, but that could change in the
future, especially if they are successful in providing a quality product
and team up with some local firms to provide good construction
administration services.


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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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