The USA in World Integration
New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Thomas L. Brewer and Gavin Boyd
Chapter 12: Collective management issues in US foreign economic relations
Gavin Boyd The management of the USA’s foreign economic relations and the international operations of its ﬁrms have assumed greater signiﬁcance for the global political economy since the East Asian ﬁnancial crises of the late 1990s. Growth in the European Union has remained slow, despite the beneﬁts of internal market integration and monetary union, and slackened commerce with East Asia has increased dependence on economic ties with the USA. The European Union has some potential to develop a leadership role in the global economy, but rivalry and distrust between its member governments prevents the formation of a common political will. The external policy concerns of its governments tend to be conﬁned to their immediate environments. In these the large and highly competitive US corporate presence is a potent challenge, and it has become more important in investment bidding rivalries from which Japanese ﬁrms have to some extent withdrawn. These rivalries are factors in a larger context of competing interests which hinder the development of a common structural policy. The structural competitiveness of the USA, and its very substantial bargaining strength, thus sustain a dominant position in the global political economy. The USA does not have a structural policy, because of a liberal political tradition, and its structural competitiveness is based on the strengths which its ﬁrm developed in its large integrated home economy under governments aloof from industry and commerce. Vigorous international expansion by these ﬁrms, through arm’s length trade but increasingly through transnational production, has activated...
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