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Globalizing America

The USA in World Integration

Edited by Thomas L. Brewer and Gavin Boyd

The authors address questions in current business and policy literature regarding the structural linkages evolving in the globalization process. The authors conclude that the US administration and American firms have to be more responsive to the interests of the international community that are being vitally affected by the integrating effects of transnational production and world trade.
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Chapter 12: Collective management issues in US foreign economic relations

Gavin Boyd


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and it has become more important in investment bidding rivalries from which Japanese firms have to some extent withdrawn.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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