Boycott of German, French goods foolish

Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2003

A boycott of French and German goods has gathered pace in the United States -- a consequence of those countries' continued resistance to the war in Iraq -- but such a movement is economically unsound and an overreaction.

Consumers have made the call to boycott French wine and bottled water, even yogurt. Others have encouraged steering clear of German automobiles. The growing list has had an impact on scores of businesses with ties to international companies.

Before taking pleasure at the notion of striking at the economy of those countries unwilling to join the coalition of nations supporting the battle to liberate a suppressed Iraqi citizenry, consider the effects that first will be felt on American soil. ...

When you refuse to buy a Michelin tire, think about the workers who made that tire. Michelin's work force in the United States totals 20,000. ...

Think about the distributors that hire people who daily deliver yogurt and other dairy foods, wines, coffees and cosmetics to grocers, who depend on sales of such products and many others with French ties to keep their workers employed. ...

These companies are pumping money into our communities, where many livelihoods depend on their continued economic well-being, and boycotting their products should be viewed as more un-American than anti-French or anti-German.

-- The Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.)

March 30



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