Free Trade Advocate Shares Thoughts with Alumni from School of Business and Harvard
September 15, 2010
The U.S. should open up trade with more foreign nations. That’s according to Neal Asbury, CEO of Ft. Lauderdale-based food service equipment provider The Legacy Companies and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show “Truth for America.” Asbury spoke about entrepreneurship, international trade, and America’s business relationships with other nations at the School in September in a talk co-hosted by the Harvard Business School.
Asbury, who covers such topics regularly on his radio show as well as in his forthcoming book Conscientious Equity: An American Entrepreneur’s Solutions to the World’s Problems, used the ice cream scoop to illustrate how a simple invention can lead to prosperity for millions throughout the world. Invented in 1933, the scoop has sold over 50 million units worldwide. Asbury pointed out that the invention has led to jobs in factories, and for wholesalers and exporters and ultimately provided millions of careers worldwide as the scoop became a household item.
“When we do the right thing for our country, we lift up millions and millions of citizens around the world with us,” Asbury said to his audience of alumni from both the School of Business and Harvard.
Asbury said he believes a significant portion of the U.S. national deficit can be attributed to the fact that many international markets such as South Korea and Panama are for the most part off-limits to American traders and exporters.
“When America has access to foreign markets, I can tell you that amazing things happen,” said Asbury. “But, we just don’t have access to the markets in the same way that foreign manufacturers have to ours. Our trading partners have tilted trade away from us and towards them, and we have an $800 billion trade deficit to prove it.”
Asbury also discredited the notion that too many international trade agreements lead to a trade imbalance. Rather, he explained, the United States could actually reduce its trade deficit by pursuing additional international trading partners and they could lead to a trade surplus.
“Our problem isn’t that we have too many trade agreements. We have too few,” he said. “America has an incredible opportunity to expand its opportunities overseas, but we have to know what we’re doing, we have to have the vision, and there are some real structural issues that are preventing us from doing it.”
Asbury’s book Conscientious Equity, which discusses matters of international trade and solutions to current trade problems further, will be available November 9. His appearance at the School of Business was part of an ongoing lecture series the School hosts in partnership with the Harvard Business School Alumni Club.