In this position paper, the past and current positions of America owned companies as a force in the global marketplace will be discussed. Factors influencing the United States' role will be offered. The future of globalization and the role of American owned companies will be discussed.
Past and Current Position of American CompaniesAmerican companies have been force in global business since the end of World War II. The devastated economies of Europe and Asia provided the opportunity for American businesses to expand. The undamaged national industrial capacity in the United States set the stage for growth to fill the unmet needs of the war damaged economies.
. . . on this massive industrial base . . . the American business class at the end of the war looked at Europe and Japan in ruins and saw their opportunity to remake the world structure of capitalism to permit the unhindered expansion of American business throughout the globe.
This permitted American industry to achieve much greater "economies of scale" than European or Japanese industry, which reduced per unit costs of production. The high U.S. profit rate also fueled innovation and investment in technical changes aimed at further increasing the productivity of labor. The advantages following World War II and the rest of the 20th century provided American workers with the world's highest standard of living. While American's prospered the country's productivity continued to lead globally.
The production capabilities of the United States following World War II allowed for extensive domination of global trade and the emergence of the dollar as the major currency for international trade. The Bretton Woods Agreement, established in 1944, set up a dollar based "dual peg system", the U.S. dollar was "pegged" to gold at $35 an ounce, while other currency were "pegged" to the dollar.