Randolph Habermeyer, chief lobbyist for the American Hot and Cold Steel Company, was awakened by his Swiss-made computer alarm clock. He got up and turned on his Sony television set to hear the news. He showered and shaved with the new electric razor his wife bought which said Made in Germany.
He then started dressing. Since he was going to testify in front of a congressional committee he selected his suit carefully, deciding on an imported Pierre Cardin pinstripe. He also chose a conservative silk tie that came from Thailand. Finally he put on his Italian-made Gucci shoes. He filled his Paris-made Hermes brief-case with all the papers he would need for his testimony.
It was raining out so he grabbed his trench coat. It was his favorite coat, and he was amazed that The Spanish, of all people, could manufacture trench coats at a third the price of the American ones.
Habermeyer kissed his wife goodby and got into his Mercedes-Benz to drive from potomac to the Capitol. In the Mercedes, he had a phone, which had been made in Taiwan, and he called his office to dictate several messages to his secretary on a German-made Grundig machine. He also had a pocket-size Dutch-made Philips recorder in the car to remind him of things he wanted to do the next day.
Suddenly he looked at his gas gauge and realized he was short of gas. He stopped at a BP (British Petroleum) station and filled the tank.
Habermeyer was listening to his radio as he drove along. They were advertising a new "Star Wars" rocketship from Hong Kong. He made a note to buy one for his son for Christmas.
The next commercial was for a French Cuisinart blender. Habermeyer decided to get one for his wife because she had said they were still the best on the market.
As he was driving along he realized he had time to buy some cigars. Since Cuban ones were still not on the market, he favored the ones made in the Canary Islands.
The clerk was pushing a new cigar that had been manufactured in the Philippines, but Habermeyer said he'd stick with his Flamencos. He also bought a throwaway lighter made in South Korea. Then he got back into his Mercedes and drove up to the Hill.
Before going to the committee room to testify, he dropped off to see a congressman friend and gave him a box of Swiss chocolates that one of the people from the company had brought back on a recent trip. The lobbyist knew the congressman had a sweet tooth, and he couldn't think of a better gift to give him.
Finally Habermeyer went to the committee room to testify. He was the second witness. He sat at the table, took out his prepared statement and began to read:
"On behalf of the American Hot and Cold Steel Company, as well as all American steel companies. I am raising my voice in angry protest over the flagrant dumping of foreign steel in this country. Mr. Chairman, this committee must decide whether we will permit the importation of foreign steel at the price of sacrificing American jobs and doing mortal damage to the American economy.
"The time has come for us to say, 'Enough is enough.' We cannot survive when we have to compete with the labor costs of other nations. It is your patriotic duty to see that the United States is protected from the flooding of foreign imports which I as an American citizen, find despicable . . ."
Habermeyer took 30 minutes to read his statement and then looked at his Japanese Seiko watch and realized his time was up.