Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, and NAFTA

This column by Ralph Nader caught my eye when I glanced at the newspaper tonight. Despite all of the on-line reading I do, I still get one local newspaper in print. The Journal Inquirer is the kind of paper that usually has the photograph of a house fire on the front page and a lengthy list of police blotter blurbs on the inside. However, dig deep enough and you will see some pretty good syndicated columns on the editorial page. Nader’s column was an interesting read.

He articulates some good points about Ross Perot and the current situation with General Motors. Perot was an Independent with vision who had some pretty good ideas. He grew some impressive businesses and probably deserves more respect for his impact on our economy. This post isn’t really about Perot. I agree with much of what Nader says about the apathy at General Motors. He points out that Perot was right about a lot of things when he served on GM’s board and that no one listened to him.

Nader goes on to assail NAFTA and again, I only agree with part of what he says. I favor free trade. After all, Horst Engineering has a maquiladora in Sonora, Mexico. However, we are in a position to grow our business in both the United States and Mexico. In a global economy, when you are a small family business, you do what you have to do to survive and thrive. Nader assails NAFTA and blames some of our countries economic ills on the agreement. He is wrong to lump all maquiladoras into one basket. Our plant is high tech. The employees at our operation and all of the peer operations who work with the companies supported by our partners are treated well. The working environment is on par with the best factories in the US and Europe. There are lousy factories with poor conditions in all countries, including China, Mexico, and the United States. All of the plants I have visited in Mexico over the past five years were top notch.

Yes, NAFTA has benefited many large businesses on both sides of the border and it has probably cost many manufacturing jobs in the US. Still, Mexico is a neighbor and a major trading partner. Horst Engineering’s expansion in Mexico is multi-faceted. Global growth is a key for any business, especially a  manufacturing business. Nader should reconsider his position in light of the fact that many small and mid-sized businesses have few choices. To compete, you have to innovate, and today that means global scope. Whether the industry is aerospace, medical, industrial, or automotive; you have to look at the whole world as your market.

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I ❤️ the @eastcoastgreenway ### #eastcoastgreenway #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #carfreecommute
Finally made it to the @breakawaybrewhaus in time! Technically I was late, but Matt and Cindy are Bolton neighbors. I left my empty bottles a month ago and now they are full again. You can easily fit three in a @dillpicklegear pannier. I’m STILL waiting for my pannier’s lost mate to find its way home. #carfeecommute @horsteng #teamhorstsports #crossspikes @seven_cycles #sevencycles #bicycle #beer 🚴🏽🍺
A fun filled day of #mountainbike goodness at the West Rock Superprestige Short Track final. The @the_ccap #teamhorstjuniorsquad and the older dudes on #teamhorstsports all rode like champs. We gave it our all and left it all out there on the gnarly course. There must have been at least 15 of us in a variety of categories, plus a couple of runners; and our families, who cheered like madmen/madwomen. Big thanks to the Laurel Bike Club/D’Aniello’s Amity Bicycle. @horsteng #crossspikes
A 5K #trailrunning race was a great way to kick off today’s West Rock Superprestige Short Track #mountainbike finale. It suited the Livingston women just fine. @trailrunningmom and Little D were both on their respective podiums after two laps of the gnarly course. It was a small but dedicated group of runners who came out for the inaugural run. Good work by the Laurel Bike Club/D’Aniello’s Amity Bicycle crew. #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders 🏃‍♀️⛰🏆
Old Lyme to Bolton with a diversion to see one of my favorite barns. #madeinusa @horsteng @seven_cycles @dillpicklegear #sevencycles #horstengineering #crossspikes #teamhorstsports #july4th #independenceday
Anytime a #triathlon swim is canceled (due to a #thunderstorm ⛈), the advantage goes to the Livingston’s. We rarely lament a run 🏃‍♀️when it replaces a swim. 🏊‍♂️ @trailrunningmom took the victory in the mud. 🚲 Shep notched a Tiny Tri win. Boy did it rain ☔️at #windingtrails tonight! 🌩 ### #Duathlon #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes
I rode from @horsteng to Cornwall Bridge to see @trailrunningmom finish her 36 mile (+8,094 feet ascent/-8,048 feet descent) solo training run on the Mohawk Trail/Appalachian Trail Loop. Better her than me! She crushed it on a hot day in 9h38m. I had a lovely ride on some of the best roads in #Connecticut and arrived at the trailhead 20 minutes before she did. We followed it up with a date @floraweha ☀️ 🚲 🏃‍♀️ #trailrunning #cycling #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders #ultrarunning @seven_cycles #sevencycles @appalachianmountainclub @ctforestandparkassociation @ultraspire #ultraspire #veganathlete
Passed through #Toronto late in the day yesterday during a short biz trip and discovered #dufferingrovepark the fabulous #reflexologyfootpath and the farmers market.
#nembafest was an absolute blast. This morning, #teamhorstjuniorsquad and #teamhorstsports put in one more monster #kingdomtrails ride. These #trails are awesome. We saw so many friends out there. The rain calmed down Friday’s dust. We missed some other big events like #manitousrevengeultra and @wser , but this event is on par. 3,000 riders in the hills of #vermont Today was the #mountainbiking equivalent of a #powderday 🚵‍♂️⛰ ### @nemba_mtb @kingdomtrails @horsteng @the_ccap #horstengineering #crossspikes

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