Being Smart about Trade and Global Business

by Doug Bruhnke

being-smart-about-trade-global-bizI just returned from an extended visit to Asia where I witnessed first-hand the rapid growth of consumer and business markets. Every day, hour and minute, more business is created. It’s stunning! Opportunity is everywhere. And so, the thought that progress with globalization will be slowed because folks in the U.S. Rust Belt say so, is not grounded in reality. Eighty-five percent of business opportunities in the world in the next five years is outside the U.S. Those consumer markets are not waiting for American companies to capture the opportunity. Companies there or in other countries are taking it. And smart U.S. companies are, too, by the way. Those U.S. companies haven’t and won’t stop, and we love working with them at Global Chamber®. And so, globalization is marching on, no matter what politicians say. Capitalism trumps nationalism and pretty much any other ‘ism’ you can think of.

And what about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), NAFTA and other trade deals? There’s certainly a lot of politicization of all these to make this a slippery slope, because everybody now has an opinion — often more emotion-based than reality-based. Remember this: Trade carries on. And how do American companies compete? They become more competitive with lower barriers, including tariffs, that these deals put forth. After years of negotiation among the 12 participating countries for TPP, 18,000 product tariffs for U.S. companies in the other 11 countries were to drop to zero — including electronics in Malaysia and beef in Japan. Without TPP, that opportunity is likely lost for U.S. companies, but Australia will be happy to take the beef business in Japan with its trade deal, and China will say thank you for the electronics business in Malaysia with its deal with ASEAN countries. Life and trade goes on. And all countries who want their companies to be competitive need to be smart about it.

Will the U.S. be smart about it? I’m not sure. But the companies will be. To learn more about how you can compete more easily around the world no matter what the politicians do, contact us.

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