And what do you think farming subsidies in developed countries are but protectionism? The Common Agricultural Policy in Europe has been rocking for almost sixty years now, and similar policies are in place in the US as far as I'm aware. These exist so you don't have to rely on whichever third world despot can whip his citizens the hardest for your basic food supply, but essentially they're strategic economic protectionism. Here's a good example of successful protectionism.
1. The Japanese government has used a plethora of constantly evolving regulations to keep the combined share of all non-Japanese automakers to just 4 percent of the Japanese market. The share never varies, whether the yen is strong or weak. (The yen is up nearly 50 percent against the dollar in the last five years.)
2. The Detroit corporations, in common with all major automakers, make many cars in Europe configured for Britain’s drive-on-the-left roads, and by extension for Japan’s. They also make countless components and assemblies that have been shut out of Japan for no other reason than that they are not made there.
3. Even Volkswagen, which sells broadly as many cars around the world as Toyota, has been allocated—that is the right word—just 1 percent of the Japanese market; by contrast Toyota’s share is close to 40 percent. (Volkswagen is lucky, incidentally: Hyundai’s share is 0.02 percent and Daewoo’s 0.003 percent, and this in a country where close to 1 percent of the people are ethnic Koreans.) ...
Perhaps the most graphic evidence of Tokyo’s true policy has been the story of the Renault-Nissan alliance. Originally established in 1999 and consolidated in subsequent years, this odd-couple partnership ostensibly gave Paris-based Renault control of Yokohama-based Nissan. In a powerful symbol of Japan’s ostensible acquiescence to American-style globalization, Renault’s Carlos Ghosn was even installed as simultaneous chief executive of both companies.
Given that Renault enjoyed a fundamental advantage in lower French wages and was more than a match for Nissan managerially, many observers expected it to make big inroads in the Japanese market. After all, the Nissan distribution chain—Japan’s second largest—was now ostensibly Ghosn’s to reshape. As reported by the BBC in 2005, the two companies were “expected to go through a process of rapid integration.” In particular they hoped to achieve savings through “jointly owned distribution subsidiaries.”
To the extent that the companies have cooperated on distribution, however, this has been confined entirely to markets beyond Japan. In the Japanese home market, Nissan has kept its distribution system strictly off-limits to Renault. The result is that, far from increasing, Renault’s Japanese market share has dropped from a negligible 0.08 percent in 1999 to a totally insulting 0.04 percent in 2009, the latest year for which figures are available. Indeed, to the extent that the company’s brand is known at all on Japanese roads, it is as a minor brand of Taiwanese-made bicycles!
And this is just the beginning of Renault’s woes. Judged by growth in total global sales, Renault has consistently been a hopeless also-ran, whereas Nissan has been a star performer. (Renault’s global sales are up less than 15 percent since the first full year of the partnership, whereas Nissan’s have zoomed nearly 78 percent. Nissan’s success has been attributable not least to increasing inroads in Renault’s home turf of Western Europe.)