chapter  8
27 Pages

FOREIGN TRADE AND FOREIGN INVESTMENT: THE ROAD TO HEGEMONY AND BACK, 1880-1988

For a century now the behavior of U.S.-based business organizations in the international economy has followed the same pattern evident in their domestic activities-a drive for control over the economic environment by internalizing capital market functions in firms that presumably specialize in the production and distribution of goods and services. Rather than operating exclusively through impersonal, competitive product markets, U.S. corporations have used their own funds and techniques to draw parts of foreign economies into their own profitmaking orbits. Since the late nineteenth century, this set of motivations, unique to American capitalism, has hardly wavered. It has been promoted in the international arena by the U.S. government, as private interests were forced to rely on state action to counteract the risk and instability produced by the free market.