International Investment and Rising Protectionism
The relationship between international investments and protectionism is an evolving one. United States multinational enterprises have traditionally invested in Latin America for import substituting reasons. In other words, the foreign firm came in in order to take advantage of the internal market. In recent years, however, these firms have turned more and more to export markets, due to the collapse of purchasing power in Latin America. Japanese multinational enterprises, by contrast have traditionally invested abroad to take advantage of lower costs for the production of goods then reimported into Japan, and in general for exports on the world market. This tendency has accelerated since 1985, i.e. since the upward pressure on the yen began. There are other reasons for international investments but the two mentioned are the most important ones. International investments occur to take advantage of national markets, particularly when access becomes difficult due to protectionist walls. International investments also occur to take advantage of differences in labour costs as a springboard to conquer a corner of global markets.
KeywordsForeign Firm International Investment Trade Theory Export Promotion Debtor Country
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