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The Effects of Falling American Popularity on US Business Abroad - Essay Example

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This essay will examine the possible effects of negative perceptions of America on U.S. business operating abroad. This is a complex question because American businesses are affected on many different levels. This essay will argue that U.S. businesses will be negatively affected by decreased levels of American popularity in three important ways…
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The Effects of Falling American Popularity on US Business Abroad
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The Effects of Falling American Popularity on US Business Abroad This essay will examine the possible effects of negative perceptions of America on U.S. business operating abroad. This is a complex question because American businesses are affected on many different levels. This essay will argue that U.S. businesses will be negatively affected by decreased levels of American popularity in three important ways. First, other countries, both individually and collectively, will be more likely to take actions which inhibit or prohibit certain actions and behaviors by U.S. businesses. Second, international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, will be more suspicious of U.S. intentions in all spheres. Finally, individual consumers will be more likely to substitute products and to protest U.S. businesses in a variety of ways.
As a preliminary matter, both countries and groups of countries will be more likely to inhibit business practices. Muslim countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, may perceive American unpopularity to anti-Muslim policies. Unable to deal with the American government directly, they very well may seek influence by barring certain types of businesses and operations in their own countries. This may manifest itself, for example, in terms of foreign shareholding requirements or excluded enterprises. In addition, trade policies may be changed to restrict imports and exports. This may be done, as well, by larger organizations such as ASEAN. The effects would be to punish U.S. business for American unpopularity. In countries with strategic business resources, whether raw materials or cheap labor, the effects could be severe.
In addition, international organizations might become more suspicious of the intentions of U.S. businesses. Claims regarding the sources of manufactured goods, the provision of hidden subsidies, and the compliance with local and international laws might be subjected to much higher standards of proof. U.S. businesses. In this way, could very well be placed in disadvantageous negotiating positions before international tribunals. Rather than being able to participate in mutually beneficial multilateral agreements, for instance, U.S. businesses might instead be forced to lobby the government to pass Free Trade Agreements with countries on an individual basis. This would be more time-consuming, more politically charged, and would lead to wasted resources. A falling American popularity abroad is certainly likely to place U.S. businesses at a disadvantage in the context of international organizations.
Finally, U.S. businesses and brand names rely significantly on their sales and reputations abroad. As America's popularity falls, it can be seen regularly on the evening news that individual consumers are venting their anger on U.S. businesses. Fast food restaurants are attacked or burned in Pakistan and France, coke and Pepsi are boycotted in southern Thailand and Indonesia, and American consumerism is denounced as an evil in many countries around the world. Indeed, the images of common people throwing rocks at an American fast food restaurant may prove more damaging that tenacious trade negotiations because the association, anger at America, is so visible to everyone.
In the final analysis, I do believe that there are links between a falling American popularity and the negative effects on U.S. businesses abroad. These effects ought to be of major concern to U.S. businesses. Read More
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