New World, New Policy: Dumping penalties – Give to Caesar what you owe to Caesar

money from all over the worldPresident Trump has issued a new executive order focusing on international cheaters, who do not pay their debts due to dumping penalties. The order targets the problem of unpaid special customs duties known as “Countervailing Duties” (CVD), levied on products from companies found guilty by an “anti-dumping” investigation.

First to the jargon: “Dumping” refers to a type of predatory trade practice. In its simplest form, it amounts to a company selling a product in a foreign market for less than it costs to make it. In theory, the goal of “dumping” is to drive down the price, and in doing so, muscle out smaller, weaker competition in order to later establish a monopoly status on that market. Under the rules of the World Trade Organization, dumping is a prohibited practice, and countries are permitted to levy special taxes on goods found to be unfairly dumped in their market in order to rebalance the price level. These tariffs are called “Countervailing Duties”, abbreviated as CVD.

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Balance trade by boosting exports through government promotion

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import_tax_0The Trump administration is attempting to lower imports in order to rebalance trade after decades of U.S. neglect toward economic relationships around the world.  Rebalancing should not only be done by applying the stick of import reductions, but also by export promotion.

Exports make a firm’s markets grow and change its home nation’s currency value. When U.S. exports increase, the dollar typically goes up in value.Shrinking exports tend to weaken the dollar. Exports also shape public opinion of globalization and offer the opportunity for economies of scale.Higher production volume often means a lower cost of production.Since high exports also make imports cheaper, a firm may achieve lower costs and higher profits, both at home and abroad, through exports.

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A Wall: Constrain, Protect, or Lead

Source: ChinaDaily

Picture Source: ChinaDaily- Cracks appear in the Great Firewall of China

“God created the world, the rest was made in China,” sings Lourd de Veyra. The concern about the Asian factory has lingered for decades. Overlooked has been its gradual strategic transformation from imitator to integrator, or even innovator.

Will China overtake the U.S. and become the new No.1 economy of the world? This anxiety seems as misplaced as earlier forecasts such as Japan’s economy surpassing the U.S. by 2000.

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For Your Long-Term Success Sponsor Innovation And Enter Asian Markets, with Peter R. Dickson

In a recent column in Marketing Management we explained the inevitability of the rest of the world catching up to us in business and technical expertise and why it is imperative that we increase the productivity of our innovation commercialization as a nation. We suggested nationwide innovation scholarships that create thousands of new businesses started by American engineers, scientists, artists, artisans and other innovators.

In this column we expand on our proposal by explaining how CEOs like yourselves in collaboration with universities can gain great benefits by increasing the innovativeness of your company by sponsoring and working with innovators. For, say $25,000 you can support the commercialization of an innovator’s idea. The University pays another $25,000 because Universities must be forced to invest at least some of their endowment in innovation and walk the talk when it comes to a re-structuring of the U.S. economy. So what you get is a $50,000 scholarship in your name to help start-up an innovative idea in your industry. Such collaboration can then work in local incubators or by developing a cluster of innovations in order to accelerate social ventures as the S&R foundation does at Halcyon House in Washington D.C.  Good idea? No it’s not a good idea, it’s a great idea so this is what you have to do.

Get together with other local CEOs and approach your local University Presidents and insist they develop such a program that you as a group can support 50:50. It will happen. If you persist it will happen and you will be forging a much better future for the United States by serving your own self-interests as well.

Oh and another thing. Almost all of the growth in consumer product and service markets over the next 50 years will be in China and India and it will be huge. Are you in on the ground floor on this? Do you have a Chinese partner yet? An Indian partner If not, then you are giving away these market to, by then local Chinese and Indian companies that in 10 years will be coming  over here and to all those international markets which you serve now. If you’re not prepared, they will eat your lunch. This is a certainty.  They will be the largest consumer product and service companies in the world. And if they learn by doing and they do a lot more than us, they will be best in the world at doing things well. Think about an Indian partner and investing in these markets. Think about a Chinese partner and investing in these markets. You owe it to your customers, your employees and your successor.

Peter Dickson (dicksonp@fiu.edu) is an Eminent Scholar and Professor at Florida International University

Michael Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) is a Professor of international marketing at Georgetown University

This article is also published by CEOWORLD Magazine. See at: http://ceoworld.biz/2016/04/18/long-term-success-sponsor-innovation-enter-asian-markets

Shame Curbs Bad Behavior

In China, no one is safe on March 15th, World Consumer Rights Day. An Evening Gala is hosted every year by CCTV, China Central Television since 1991. The purpose is to name and shame companies for their misconduct against consumer interest.  In decades past, firms like Starbucks, LG and Hewlett-Packard have been called out when offering poor products or irresponsible customer service. Many Chinese companies and state-owned enterprises like China Mobile have been inducted in this Hall of Shame as well.

This year, the Evening Gala aimed mainly at the misconduct in E-Commerce and Social Media. According to the State Ministry of Industry and Commerce, during this gala, Elema, a billion-dollar food delivery company, was shamed for making food under unsanitary conditions; Yipai (Easy Pass), China’s leading online automobile marketing platform, was accused of hurting consumers by providing personal   information to outsiders; Taobao, the biggest online shopping website founded by technology giant Alibaba, was  named for fraudulent consumer reviews which influenced product  rankings.  The Gala quickly became a battle cry for corporate PR teams, who had to come up overnight with explanations and damage control.

Will these allegations curb bad behaviors in companies and individuals? The answer seems to be “yes”. A new law prohibits indoor smoking in Beijing.  Individuals breaking these regulations can be fined $30, restaurants up to $155. In addition to the fines, repeat offenders see their names posted on a government website for one month, alongside a list of their offenses. Witnesses to infractions are urged to notify the government. Social shaming pressure is expected to make the new law more effective – and it works!

Shame can be used to focus attention on some “bad apples”, especially when it comes to major collective problems. It helps to be creative and focused when choosing targets. Companies, such as British Petroleum or SeaWorld, do not feel guilt. However, the people working in these corporations do. Their thoughts and behavior can be influenced by public disapproval and even mortify them. Public opinion can be essential for companies, especially if they are producing consumer brands, such as IPhones or agile Orcas. Reputational risks are a concern, and public shaming can be most effective if targeted at ”friendly” corporations and their employees.

One must ponder the question: can “shame” really work in implementing government policy? Jennifer Jacquet, author of Is Shame Necessary?, claims success for a website run by the state of California that lists the names of people who have not paid their taxes. The site targets only the top 500 delinquents, and the state has retrieved more than US$395 million in back taxes since it was launched in 2007.

Another possible and very helpful area for “shame policy” is immunization of a country’s population. Typically, 90 percent of people need vaccination for there to be true immunity. People can opt-out and get a “free-ride”, since everyone around them is taking the needle for them. However, with reduced compliance, immunization doesn’t work anymore. That’s where shaming can help encourage participation.

Another example is the Rainforest Action Network and its shaming campaign against banks which financed coal companies doing mountain-top removal in the Appalachia region. After a five-year campaign, two of the nine banks have changed their policy of lending to coal companies. Two out of nine may seem like limited success, but every march starts with the first step.   Shaming can act as a stop-gap for the period when people are concerned about something and when actual change comes about.

Working to avoid shame can lead to better weights and measurements. Who wants to be ridiculed by competitors or lose a long-developed fine reputation. Particularly in fields such as marketing, where the brand and personal perceptions are paramount, shaming can become a major influence if not the rationale for the curative marketing approach which aims to heal relationships between business, government and consumers. Avoiding shame by reducing, eliminating and making up for past mistakes, can strengthen a company’s unique selling proposition and let it emerge as a seasoned competitor.