Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Question: What happens if we do “go it alone?”

Let’s jump two or three weeks into the future.

It’s mid March. March Madness is in full swing, the temperatures are starting to get warmer, and my wife is getting hell-bent on cleaning everything. Oh, and we are knee deep in Iraq, our troops probably closing in on Baghdad.

We did it alone. Sure, the Brits and the Aussies are helping, we may even have Spain and Japan assisting. But, what happens in New York, at that big building with all the flags outside?

I havn’t seen anyone draw up this scenario yet. Obviously the security council of the UN did not support this…will the US be hit by sanctions? Will the Security Council just look the other way? Will there be a boycott of US products in the countries that opposed military action?

Anti-American resentment is growing to levels not seen in at least 20 years. It is already affecting tourists abroad.

Let’s take a look at the biggest opponents to the war, and see what a boycott would affect:

France: Cars, Cereals, Chemicals, Clothing, Electrical Equipment, Iron and Steel, Leather Goods, Petroleum Products, Processed Foods, Textiles, Wine. I also saw somewhere that Aircraft parts would be effected.

Germany: Chemicals, Food, Instruments, Iron and Steel, Lignite, Machinery, Motor Vehicles, Potash, Railway Equipment, Textiles, Yarns and Fabrics.

Belgium: Chemicals, Cut Diamonds, Foodstuffs, Iron and Steel, Machinery, Motor Vehicles, Petroleum Products, Textile Products.

The truth is that America is a lot of countries top importer. A boycott could hurt them a lot more than it hurts us. Dare I say, a boycott may actually HELP America. Because of that, we won’t see a boycott. They may not agree with what our military is doing, but they won’t let that hurt their wallets.

So, what will they do? Well, they can impose a tariff on anything imported into their country, pricing it out of competition with local products. Now we are talking items like autos, foodstuffs, aircraft, appliances, and machinery. This is the more likely scenario.

So, another question, if we “do it alone,” and the rest of the world tariffs our imports, how’s that going to affect the economy? I bet we all know the answer to that one already.

This is a fearless approach
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