Briefs, Godfrey E.
December 1978
Business Horizons;Dec78, Vol. 21 Issue 6, p14
Academic Journal
The list of policies affecting the U.S. auto industry's competitiveness could be lengthened. However, the purpose here is to outline the industry's challenges and to contrast the governmental encouragement received by overseas manufacturers with the treatment accorded domestic car makers by certain government figures in this country. The late Senator Philip Hart, for example, sought the breakup of leading firms in seven industries, including the automotive industry (S. 1167). And currently Michael D. Pertschuk, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, is investigating the U.S. automotive industry. His expressed view is that "competitive policy must sometimes choose between greater efficiency, which may carry with it the promise of lower prices, and other social objectives, such as the dispersal of power which may result in marginally higher prices."[12] In an era of persistent deficits in U.S. foreign accounts and a sharpening struggle for U.S. and world markets, such attitudes are incomprehensible. The appointment of a Cabinet-level interagency task force to draft a national export strategy, therefore, is a welcome indication of a growing realism among U.S. government policy planners. The U.S. auto industry has traditionally stood for the removal of trade barriers and for the freest possible international exchange of goods and services. GM chairman Thomas A. Murphy has stated: "We continue to believe that trade barriers should be lowered rather than raised. It is in the best interest of every country, including our own, to encourage the expansion of world trade and investment. Whenever markets have been opened, American industry has been willing, indeed anxious, to enter them."[13] In the pursuit of this goal the U.S. auto industry neither needs nor asks for special favors. All it asks is an even chance at home and a fair shot at markets overseas. *[This character cannot be converted to ASCII text].


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