Report from Japan: Don’t Let China Overshadow All

By November 2, 2007Trade

JE_Travel_Blog_Japan.jpgFrom The International Herald, a story based on an Associated Press interview with NAM President John Engler.

TOKYO: Japan remains a hot business opportunity for American manufacturers, despite the world’s growing interest in neighboring China, a top U.S. industry group official said Friday.

“The emergence of China and the vast size of China have become the front-page story. And people are missing what’s already here right now,” said John Engler, president and chief executive of the National Association of Manufacturers, which represents a wide range of American companies.

“There needs to be a remembering of what is Japan today,” he said.

Engler said it will take years before China’s economy, now the world’s fourth-biggest, becomes as large as the Japanese economy, second-biggest behind the U.S.

“In a search for opportunities, don’t miss what’s right in front of you while on a quest to find something that may not even exist quite yet,” Engler said in an interview with The Associated Press in Tokyo.

There’s a pop song with that sentiment some place, isn’t there?

NAM’s Engler was on CNBC (the U.S. version) yesterday, talking trade with anchor Joe Kernan. With exports driving U.S. economic growth, it’s important to keep pressing trade, Engler said. Responding to a question about protectionism, supposedly pro-worker, he commented that export growth has offset the housing decline and was keeping unemployment down.

I think workers benefit when there are jobs to be had. I don’t think workers benefit when we’re in a recession, and I think one way to get one is to start building barriers and keeping the competition out.

You can watch the interview here.

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