Exports, imports, and unemployment

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  • Quest Editorial contents

    Exports, imports, and unemployment Many of our legislators and economists are looking into the wrong end of the telescope when they examine the ills of our economy. Also, the unions themselves have evidenced blatant ignorance regarding the problem of unemployment. During the past five years, rounds of strikes have increased wages substantially each year. This action produced the inflationary conditions that forced manufacturers out of the country until now only a small fraction of the U.S. labor force produces goods to compete with imports.

    It is a matter of survival that American companies have set up off-shore manufacturing facilities to produce goods for the American mar-ket. In electronics, it is believed necessary, under free trade condi-tions, to establish approximately half the total production capabilities overseas. In this way, they not only compete with foreign manufac-turers for the American market, they can also compete for the world market, which, incidentally, is no help to our balance of trade.

    The Senators and Representatives howl about the balance of trade and the need for export trade. But there is no subsidy provided on merchandise with significant man-hour value and little or none is being exported. On the other hand, the United States supports the agricul-tural economy, which employs a minimum of labor, to the extent of many billions of dollars per year taken from the taxpayer. Consider the doubled-up cost to the country of a balance of trade policy wherein a government-supported industry is allowed to sell huge quantities of products overseas without paying back the subsidy in the form of taxes from such sales.

    Do our Senators, Congressmen, and labor leaders realize that Ameri-can exports are becoming irrelevant under policies they have created? We are fouled up in our own free trade policies while foreign countries protect their own markets and grab ours too. Foreign markets are well supplied without American-made goods.

    Cheap foreign imports are especially responsible for the shortage of jobs in manufacturing. We have lost untold thousands of jobs to foreign countries. One hundred thousand scientific personnel are on the street. Our unemployment and welfare rolls are stupendous and the cost is an impossible burden. Unemployment is increasing and the Government needs more taxes than ever before. Perhaps we were wrong in promoting free trade while permitting increased inflation, a policy which has quickly proved to be a one-way street out of town. Before time runs out, we should take immediate vigorous action to cor-rect this condition, if only temporarily.

    What can be done? Logically, ad valorem balanced import duties should be promptly instituted on foreign merchandise in technological categories. American-based manufacturers can then reopen their plants and Americans can return to their old jobs. If foreign-owned companies want to get into the American market, let them get a license, invest, manufacture, and pay taxes in the United States. In this way, we can control things, create jobs, reduce income taxes, and return pros-perity to the country.

    Don Haines President, Consultronics, Inc., Elmhurst, III.

    C&EN EDITORIALS REPRESENT ONLY THE VIEWS OF T H E AUTHOR AND AIM AT TRIGGERING INTELLIGENT DISCUSSION.

    Chemical & Engineering News November 29, 1971 Volume 49, Number 49

    Letters 4 Professional relations

    Chemical World This Week 9 The Top Stories 9 Insect larvicide

    10 Heroin substitutes 10 Hydrazine process 10 Martian polar cap 11 MCA meeting 11 Auto tire sales 12 Water bill 12 Dow and EPA

    Industry/Business 13 Concentrates 14 Plasticizers 18 Tantalum linings 18 Industry This Week in Brief

    International 19 Concentrates 20 U.K. fertilizer pool 21 EEC sack market

    Government 23 Concentrates

    Science 24 Concentrates

    Technology 29 Concentrates 31 Upgrading low-grade ores 33 Hormone mimic near market 34 Water-degradable bottles

    Feature 36 Technology assessment

    ACS News/People 42 Harrison Howe award

    Newscripts 52 Memories of Dr. Wood

    Cover design: Norman Favin

    NOV. 29, 1971 C&EN 3

    Guest EditorialExports, imports, and unemployment