I was concerned about the loss of jobs for the American worker and the loss of our manufacturing base. So an attorney from Galveston created for me “The U.S. Fair Trade Foundation”, a non-profit corporation. I got literature from the Buy American Foundation in Abington, Pennsylvania and put some ads in the paper.
Our trade deficit is gigantic, draining our wealth. Our job losses are in the millions. There is plenty of blame to go around. Subscribing to the two hundred year old myth that Free Trade is wonderful, our government leaders have opened U.S. Markets to all comers with the naïve expectation that all the diverse nations of the world with their different cultures and business to government relationships would respond in kind. Didn’t happen. Protectionism – practiced by many of our trade partners – is a dirty word in Washington. Our powerful unions fought for and got their annual raises until they had no job. Our own businesses sent their work overseas – and still do – saying they have to do it to be competitive. Our environmentalists sent the smokestacks overseas – the smokestacks that were the symbol of America’s industrial growth as the greatest economic country in the world.
I was nine when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The images of the Pacific War and the German goosestep stayed with me all my life. I never bought a foreign car. I know! I know! It was seventy years ago. Time to move on. I’m too old now. I can’t. I did meet someone once that was worse than me. A tour guide at the Edinburgh Castle kept referring to the enemy to the South. That would be some unpleasantness between the English and Scots some one hundred fifty years ago.
The Buy America Foundation gave me a five thousand dollar grant to make a TV ad. I made it in front of a “closed” sign on a cyclone fence surrounding a shut down Houston plant. It ran at eight different time slots on Channel 11 in Houston. The results were underwhelming!!!! Nobody cared. And nobody cares today. I was so discouraged I called the attorney and told him to kill the “U.S. Fair Trade Foundation”.