If you follow the business news in the Friday Herald Democrat, you might notice U.S. 2017 sales to the world continue to slide even as our U.S. dollar loses value against other world currencies. Normally, lower prices provided by our declining dollar encourage more buying our products, unless of course the world can find just as good products at better prices from other countries.

With China, India, and many Pacific nations evolving from third world consumers of U.S. goods to developed competitors, this is very much the double whammy the U.S. is experiencing. Not only losing our customers, but also having former customers win business away from us with lower prices. U.S. options to compete in this new world are limited. With one of the higher standards of living in the world, along with its higher salaries, competing with lowest price is both difficult and counterproductive if we need salary growth.

An alternative is to match world prices and try to get more sales by offering more reliable, trustworthy, customized product, with fast delivery and a smile. This common business strategy is a good fit for the U.S. with its good infrastructure, high speed communications, automation, and decent relations with customers. But, it appears the U.S. is attempting a political strategy directly in conflict with this business model by withdrawing from trade organizations, isolating ourselves from world consensus, and threatening competitors with retaliation.

This may have worked when the U.S. was the major player in the post WWII world, but cannot succeed in a world where the U.S. is only one of many trade nations, buys more from the world than they buy from us, and may have a ballooning debt problem that can further shrink the U.S. dollar exchange rate. If we do not see a reversal in these trends soon, we need to consider living as a 2nd world debtor nation that only has its military threats to convince others to go along with it. Remind you of any other nations?

Randy R. Irvin