The Multinational Monitor

July/August 1987 - VOLUME 8 - NUMBERS 7 & 8


The Enemy Within

In view of the current emphasis by leading Democrats (i.e. the Gephardt Amendment) that "competitiveness" is the issue and we are treated unfairly by Japan, why not do an article on the true state of affairs? I believe that the facts came out recently in the Japanese press that U.S. TNCs [Transnational Corporations] are in about the same lead in Japan as Japanese corporations are in the U.S. with respect to imports and exports. U.S. TNCs are often dominant in partnerships with Japan and together they are investing in the low wage countries of Taiwan and South Korea.

Isn't it true that from 1957 to 1983 our (U.S.) share of world exports fell from 22 percent to about 12 percent while the U.S. TNC's [share] doubled from 6.7 percent to 12 percent of U.S. TNCs invested abroad?

If it can be shown that the shift in U.S. trade from being a major exporter to a major importer comes largely from U.S. multinational corporations, [then] "We have met the enemy and he is us!" Further, the Gephardt Trade Bill does nothing to stop the outflow of capital.

I am sure you either have or can support this thesis.

I will look forward to seeing this reflected in future issues.

Robert Glass
Hampton Bays, NY

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. We are currently planning a trade issue and hope to deal with many of the issues you have raised.

Apartheid's Israeli Connection

I respond to your March 1987 piece, "Israel: Arming Apartheid." I have been a frequent visitor to South Africa during the last 20 years and recently returned from a month of traveling in South Africa and Namibia. My main friends in South Africa are Dr. F. Van Syl Slabbert, who last year resigned as head of the Progressive Federal Party [PFP], and E. K. Moorcroft, who was still in the parliament represent ing the PFP in March 1987. Shuttling between these two politicians I see and hear much more than the average visitor.

My observations confirm your points about the close military cooperation between Israel and South Africa. It is, however, even more extensive than you report. They have also collaborated in the construction of nuclear bombs and in repressing their respective indigenous populations. On several occasions I have heard South Africans angrily lament Israel's carte blanche to repress non-Israelis while South Africa's perhaps lesser repression is trumpeted from every press room.

The United States gives Israel billions of dollars every year, so it is indirectly the United States that is arming apartheid. The same Israel conduit has been used to send arms to Iran and the Contras. But neither Congress nor Reagan will act. Being branded anti-Israel is politically fatal in the good guy versus bad guy Hollywood landscape of U.S. politics.

Charles C. Wiggin
Fortson, GA

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