Swiss Army Eyes Outsourcing

Opposition mounts against outsourcing a legend
Swiss Army Eyes Outsourcing
The Swiss Army Knife, synonymous with versatility. "If the Swiss army knife no longer comes from Switzerland, then we might as well stop producing it altogether," said Thomas Fuchs, MP for the Swiss People's party.   (

Can a Swiss army knife be made in China and still cut it as an icon? That's become a hot political topic in Geneva since the army announced that, under WTO rules, they have to open up the manufacture of their signature knives to bids from companies in other countries. China, which has been producing knockoffs for years, is thought to have the best chance of scoring the contract, the Guardian reports.

WTO rules apply to contracts of a certain size, and this one—at about $1.4 million—is over the limit. But a lawyer and former Swiss Army colonel has found a loophole: under WTO rules, contracts for "stabbing weapons" don't have to be opened up to international competition. "I simply cannot imagine our soldiers carrying a Made in China knife in their knapsacks," he frets. (More Switzerland stories.)

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