Labor Union Leader Embraces Foreign Trade, ‘Outsourcing’

By October 27, 2010Economy, Trade

Unfortunately, it’s a German trade leader.

From The Washington Post’s front page article today, “In its biggest foreign market, BMW gets skilled workers for less,” reporting on the German auto company’s new plant in Greer, S.C.

“From a German trade union perspective, we are not overly concerned,” said Horst Mund, head of the international department at IG Metall, a large German union to which BMW workers belong. “The success of German carmakers depends on the ability to sell cars abroad. We cannot expect all the cars to be made in Germany.”

In his remarks last week to the Economic Club of Memphis, John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, emphasized the importance of foreign markets to manufacturers in the United States.

We’ve got to engage the world, and we’ve got to compete. We can’t build walls high enough to keep the competition out. And for heaven’s sakes, 96 percent of the people live outside the United States, so we have some pretty big markets out there. We’ve got a big one at home, but we won’t grow, we won’t build the wealth that we’d like to have and certainly what we’ve been accustomed to, if we just look inward. We’ve got to look around the world.

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