Jim Owens, Caterpillar’s CEO for the last 2 years, said the following in an article,
“Personally, I can think of no faster path to a worldwide recession
than for the twin engines of the global economy — the United States
and China — to turn against one another. Both countries need to make
an extra effort to ensure that we treat each other with mutual respect.
Rather than threatening protectionism, leaders must redirect their
energies toward improving competitiveness and opening markets.” Full story.
This is fantastic stuff! It’s rare today to hear a CEO make any kind of statement that’s meaningful..let alone one that puts the ball back into the courts of American firms to "figure it out". This is no different than any other challenge we’ve faced before. Wages in India have risen…and "in-sourcing" has started to occur. China’s wages are rising fast. Quality issues are forcing companies to reevaluate the cost of lost customers due to "the overseas customer service guy not understanding me in the least".
Although we could be on the cusp of a global upheaval that will render the United States a has been…something tells me we’ll figure this out like have so many times before. Our economy is in the process of shedding that which is artificially propped up (airlines, auto manufacturers, labor unions, employer paid health care). We’ve sat back too long during this stretch of prosperity and we’re reaping that which we’ve sown. Wake up and smell the ethanol!