Lee Iacocca: The Japanese Obsession and Protecting Your Industrial Base

US states are being played off of one another in a competition for Japanese auto factories in the US. Iacocca believed in 1984 that the Japanese were outcompeting the US because of the close ties between management and government officials in Japan. Like China today, Japan according to Iacocca in 1984 was manipulating the yen by pegging it to the US dollar.

In 1984, Iacocca believed that the US was a free trade bastion and Japan had many restrictions for US trade. Japanese car prices fluctuate based on where they are being sold around the world for example in Paris a car would sell at $10,500, San Francisco at $7,200 and $9,000 in Frankfurt, there was no free trade policy in Japan in the 1980s. Iacocca advocates for economic nationalism and protectionism by restricting the number of Japanese cars sold in the US market (with the benefit going to Chrysler, of course). Iacocca believes in dependency theory when he asks: “Question: What do you call a country that exports raw materials and imports finished goods? Answer: A colony.”

This is a synopsis & analysis based on Iacocca: An Autobiography and other miscellaneous research sources. Enjoy.