. . . is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpts:
"The message here obviously is to dissuade any movement for a Buy Filipino law. Buy American or any protectionist measure hasn’t helped the US and certainly didn’t during the 1930s. Past Buy Filipino measures and even President Garcia’s Filipino First policy hasn’t been helpful to the Philippines either. It was ineffectual at best and at worst encouraged corruption. It definitely did not help the poor and apparently only made the local 'elite' families richer.
Nothing is stopping Filipinos, on their own, voluntarily, from buying only Philippine-made products. Nothing is stopping Philippine companies from making more attractive and sellable products. This column highly encourages both real forms of economic nationalism. Obviously these are difficult times, but to simply copy the laws of another country when a) it’s unmistakably not a good measure and b) their circumstances are clearly different from ours is not the smartest thing to do."