In a letter in today’s New York Times, Joel Secundy – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services at the International Trade Administration – tries to justify his job as dispenser of corporate welfare. But try as he might, he fails.
First, Dep. Asst. Sec. Secundy asserts that “many American companies, especially smaller ones, don’t have the political or business contacts to break into foreign markets.” Then, amidst some huffing and puffing about the promise of the National Export Initiative, he claims that “American businesses make the most sought-after products and services in the world.”
If the latter claim is true, then foreigners don’t need to be prompted by Uncle Sam to buy all those American products and services that they so desperately seek. If, however, the former claim is true – if foreigners in fact aren’t beating down doors to buy those American products and services that Mr. Secundy and his colleagues are trying to persuade them to buy – then I must ask Mr. Secundy how he knows that “American businesses make the most sought-after products and services in the world.”