John Sparkman

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The invitation for me to author an article for the Lead Articles Edition of the Mercer Law Review suggests that we might examine the international impact on the United States of foreign trade and investment. This subject, of course, can be approached in many different ways. I have chosen to focus on the subjects of foreign investment and the multinational corporation as those two matters may have impact on the general subject. These are two subjects which I believe must be given very careful attention as we go forward in developing a position for the United States in changing world economy.

In sharp contrast to traditional U.S. attitudes, the past few years have witnessed a swing of opinion in the United States favoring limitations on foreign investment in the United States as well as investment abroad by Americans. This shift stems from a presumption that U.S. investment abroad costs the United States jobs and weakens the U.S. balance of payments. More recently there has been a growing concern that large-scale foreign investment in the United States, which may increase markedly as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) accumulates capital, is also undesirable.

These conflicting arguments for restricting the international flow of capital and technology ought to be examined seriously.