Contempt for The United States Congress, Not Colombia

I vividly remember arriving at Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport in the mid- 1990s, clearing immigration, and then heading towards the city. My mind swirled with edginess and fear knowing I had reached a city with one of the highest homicide rates and kidnapping incidences in the world. For an American businessman, it was a notoriously dangerous place to be. For decades a pervasive tension permeated the thin Andean air as a result of the violence that has relentlessly rocked Colombia. Nearly every Colombian family has been tragically touched by terror, murder and kidnapping. It leaves haunting memories. During those decades, Colombia was the nexus of ruthless drug lords with unfathomable financial resources controlled by a relentless Marxist-Leninist group known as FARC (Revolutionary... Read More Interview “When Politics and Trade Collide”

Free trade, and the impact it has on U.S. workers, has become a hot-button issue on the presidential campaign trail. Neal Asbury, the Small Business Administration’s Exporter of the Year, explains why America has nothing to fear in the global market. From: By: Angus Loten Free trade has taken a lot of heat since the Democratic presidential primary, when both Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton vilified NAFTA, blaming the 14-year-old trade pact with Canada and Mexico on widespread job losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Obama, who has since clinched his party’s presidential nomination, has pledged to renegotiate the deal to better protect American workers. That kind of talk makes Neal Asbury wince. Asbury, whose foodservice equipment export firm helped launch China’s... Read More

The Art of Trade War

The battlefields of global trade often explode igniting extreme situations demanding exceptional responses. The concept of the world joyfully marching towards American liberal trade doctrine is as dim-witted as believing we can solve our perilous trade deficit without taking tough action against those that abuse our openness. At its core, trade is war. Chinese General Sun Tzu’s military treatise, Art of War, written during the 6th century B.C. has been studied in military schools around the world for ages. It is treasured for its simple yet ingenious strategies to ensure victory before stepping onto the battlefield. Diverse leaders such as Mao Zedong, Vo Nguyen Giap and General Douglas MacArthur have quoted from it.The analogy between international business and war is not a novel one. The... Read More

A Call To Action From The Trenches Of Trade

In October, 2006 I wrote an article for To The Point News entitled The Great Debate about an imaginary debate on the future of U.S. trade. Subsequently, I was appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce to serve on the Florida District Export Council. In 2007, a national conference of all 55 Export Councils throughout the country was held in Tampa, Florida.  The conference theme was:  The Great Debate :  The Future of U.S. Trade. 400 delegates witnessed Members of Congress, senior administration officials, labor and business leaders, Washington think-tank experts, agricultural advocates, environmentalists and American exporters forcefully argue their positions in a no holds barred exchange moderated by CNN award winning journalist and anchor Gene Randall. I delivered the closing address... Read More

The Great Debate : America’s Global Trade Future

The following transcript of The Great Debate: America’s Global Trade Future is imaginary; there was no such television program. But it is a debate that needs to be heard immediately and evaluated carefully by all Americans. It is time for a responsible member of the media to earn its charter and make this happen. Neal Asbury President, Greenfield World Trade MODERATOR: The term “Great Debate” was coined in 1920 to describe the debate between Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis over the size and makeup of the universe. In 1960, it set the stage for the first-ever televised presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. More recently, it has been used to describe the deeply emotional discussions about faith and evolution. Today we use it to frame the most important... Read More

Perpetuating World Hunger, Poverty and Food Riots with the 2008 Farm Bill

The United States, European Union and Japan have used farm subsidies to enrich large agricultural concerns in their own countries, but at the expense of small farmers from developing countries such as the Philippines.  You can gain a greater perspective on this issue by accompanying me on a visit to a poor farmer in Batangas, Philippines, about two hundred kilometers south of Manila. Bong Dumlao and his family live on a mountaintop overlooking the South China Sea where a brisk breeze blows supplying an endless stream of fresh air. The raspy sound of the wind fluttering through the towering crown of a banyan tree and ruffling coconut fawns instills a strange, tenuous serenity. Out in the distance sparsely inhabited islands dot the bright shimmering sea. There is something about the sea and... Read More

16 Ways To Solve The United States Trade Deficit

Plenty Can Be Done To Solve America’s Trade Vision Deficit Disorder (TVDD) At a time when our country is fixated on a protracted political process passionately promising to cure all our ills, this would be an excellent time for our presidential candidates to put forward their vision to solve the most critical economic issue of our time, our degenerative trade deficit. Unfortunately they appear to suffer from Trade Vision Deficit Disorder (TVDD), or are simply too busy (I personally subscribe to the former). We must take it upon ourselves to provide the remedy. Unlike other seemingly impossible challenges we face, our trade deficit is something we can correct in a relatively short period thus creating millions of well-paying jobs. It is as simple as establishing an environment where... Read More

$10 For A Gallon Of Gasoline In The United States?

Oil Will Be the Defining Issue for United States/China Relations For several years before Deng Xiaoping initiated China’s economic reforms in 1982, one of the few opportunities to experience The Peoples Republic of China was to climb a ridge in Hong Kong’s New Territories. As I made my way up the rocky slope I could feel the steady crescendo of my heart anxiously pounding at my rib cage.  Peering through the trees into the valley below I could see border sentries of the Peoples Army wearing drab olive green uniforms and caps with big red stars. Flapping in the wind was the Communist Chinese flag.  In the distance peasants dressed in baggy black pants and large straw hats toiled in neatly embanked rice paddies as water buffalo pulling their ploughs slogged through thick clay- like mud.... Read More

Free Trade Agreements Can Alleviate World Poverty

The River’s Edge Upon arriving in Jakarta for the first time nearly twenty-eight years ago, I hurriedly checked into one of the city’s most luxurious hotels and headed straight to the concierge to inquire where I could see a live performance of Gamelan. A puzzled attendant looked at me for a moment to ensure he heard correctly, then lit up with a contagious smile. He took out a Bahasa-Indonesia language newspaper and approvingly informed me that there was a performance that evening not far away. He warned me it was in a part of town not frequented by foreigners. His voice modulated to seriousness when he strongly suggested I take a hotel car and have the driver wait for me until the performance ended. This was not somewhere I should be strolling around alone. Gamelan is an Indonesian... Read More

Neal Asbury in The Miami Herald!

Now that he has been named the Small Business Association’s National Champion Exporter of the Year, Neal Asbury can also claim two other firsts. Not only is his company, Greenfield World Trade, the first in the state to win the prestigious award, it is also the first time a food service equipment company has been given the honor. ”It’s something that will distinguish our company for years to come,” said Asbury, 50. ”It’s not just selling the product but working passionately to try to improve America’s position internationally as a country, trying to educate our citizens how better to trade and export so we can start to deal with this trade deficit we have,” he said. Locally, he serves as chairman of the South Florida Chapter of the District... Read More