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The IndustrialistsHow the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism$
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Jennifer A. Delton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167862

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167862.001.0001

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Deindustrialization and the Global Imperative

Deindustrialization and the Global Imperative

(p.239) 10 Deindustrialization and the Global Imperative
The Industrialists

Jennifer A. Delton

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers deindustrialization's effects on the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) during the 1960s. While organized labor was quick to recognize the dangers of cheap imports to its interests, organized manufacturing—that is, NAM—seemed belligerently oblivious, even as it was losing members at record rates. It is now widely accepted that imports, Cold War trade policies, and offshoring contributed to deindustrialization, which began in the 1960s. In promoting freer trade and foreign direct investment, NAM, despite its claims to the contrary, was working against the interests of small and midsized manufacturers, who were still the majority of its membership and the most vulnerable to imports. Together with a merger wave in the mid-1960s, deindustrialization eviscerated NAM's membership, which went from a high of 21,801 companies in 1957 to just under 12,000 by 1980. As its membership declined, NAM became even more dependent on large multinationals to meet the challenges of a global economy that it had helped create.

Keywords:   deindustrialization, cheap imports, organized manufacturing, Cold War trade policy, offshoring, foreign direct investment, midsized manufacturers, small manufacturers, large multinationals, global economy

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