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Global Business In The Age Of Trump

The ride won't be as rocky as you think

David Iwinski Jr.

Managing Director

david.iwinski@bluewatergrowth.com.

AUTHOR

David-Iwinski-Jr.png

David Iwinski Jr.

Managing Director

Blue Water Growth

david.iwinski@bluewatergrowth.com

US Mobile: +1 412 352 7997

China Mobile: +86 183 2128 4064

Skype ID: david.iwinski.bluewatergrowth

Global Business In The Age of Trump

The ride won't be as rocky as you think

By David Iwinski

Last fall, I had the occasion to speak to the Pennsylvania Bar Association about global business in the age of Donald Trump. As you might expect, there were plenty of people who were expecting a prediction of gloom and doom. If all your information comes from CNN, that might be a pretty reasonable assessment. However, out there in the real world things look a little bit different. Here are a few reasons why the next seven years could be the best years ever for global business.

 

Politicians rant but business people do deals - About 6 months before the election, I had the opportunity to make a three week global business trip and deliver 18 separate presentations. During the conversation afterwards, I asked the various business people in the multiple countries I visited two questions:

 

What do you think of our election process?

Who will be the better President for the United States?

 

Well, they were all bemused at the focus of our electoral politics where we paid scant attention to national economic policy but obsessed over who was using what bathroom. When it came to the second question, I was somewhat surprised that there was 100% unanimous support for Donald Trump. Why? While many of these people may have been supporters of more liberal social policy, they all knew instinctively that America had to get focused on business and doing deals to boost our economy. Post-election, my follow-up conversations with the same people indicate that their enthusiasm for doing deals with American companies has only escalated. They have confidence in us and in the growth of our economy.

 

Global interdependence is a reality – No matter how much any politician talks about severe trade crackdowns, the reality is that the measures tend to be more modest than proposed and often temporary. Even Trump has already begun to moderate his initial position on tariffs. The reason is straight-forward; the global economy is so interconnected and intertwined that except for small and trivial outlier countries, any nation that made itself an island would suffer badly in economic growth and no one can afford that. While it is true that some nations that abuse governmental support and allow dumping to specifically target particular industries, in general we all have too much at stake for isolationism to gain traction.

 

Inbound foreign investment to America continues to grow – From Asia and Europe, there continues to be increases in both acquisitions and greenfield investments in the United States. These capital inflows track retail, distribution, software and advanced technology projects. Within the last eight months, we have met with no fewer than six delegations from various global locations interested in robotics, artificial intelligence, medical devices, advanced optics and a long list of other opportunities. Gaining equal focus is the acquisition of US brands to combine with strong European and Asian companies. While there may be a slowdown in mega-deals, in the middle market space there is vibrant opportunity.

 

This may not be the point of view that you’ll hear yelled at full voice by both mainstream media outlets and the chattering classes, but my hands-on experience over the last year indicates continued opportunity for doing global deals if only we are not scared off by irrational and unfounded fears.

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