No More Silos! (Part 5)

The New Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Andreas Pinkwart, former minister of science, technology, research and innovation, and now president of Handelshochschule Leipzig in Germany, said that if innovation and free trade are maintained, they will stimulate open borders. He sees negotiations on agriculture as a key impediment to progress in a transatlantic partnership but expects its success.

The TTIP, a newly inaugurated trade negotiation between the United States and the European Union may lead to further open export markets, expand the U.S. and E.U.’s investment partnership, address non-tariff barriers, and increase cooperation on issues including combatting discriminatory localization trade barriers and promoting SMEs’ global competitiveness.

The three key challenges that the partnership must address are climate problems, terrorism and economic imbalances. Also, the TTIP collaboration will serve well as a political and economic counterweight to China, even though the European Union and the U.S. combined are likely to soon have a lower GDP than China.

Speaking on behalf of the German government, Peter Fischer, head of economic affairs at the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, suggested strong encouragement of a TTIP. Since the E.U. and the U.S. are the largest economies in the world, their collaboration could only strengthen world trade, in particular with a convergence of regulatory approaches. Results would be achieved within 18 to 24 months, he said.

Howard Fogt, a partner at Washington, D.C.-based law firm Foley & Lardner LLP who specializes in international trade regulation, took issue with such a time frame. He believes that the implementation of an agreement would be long, slow and expensive. Politically, he sees the leadership for a TTIP as emerging from the bottom, if major movements are to be achieved. He also stated repeatedly that culture matters and economics cannot be negotiated by itself, particularly when fundamental issues such as food are to be discussed. (For example, the acceptance or rejection of hormone-injected beef demonstrates national differences.)

This article is a part of a series written by Michael Czinkota and Charles Skuba who report on the March 2013 meeting on trade policy and international marketing, a collaboration between the American Marketing Association, Georgetown University and the U.S. International Trade Administration. View part 4 hereGuest writer Charles Skuba teaches international business and marketing at Georgetown University. He served in the George W. Bush Administration in trade policy positions in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Values and Freedom: Part 2

A second and even more crucial issue is the value system we use in making choices. There are major differences among what people value around the world. Contrasts include togetherness compared to individuality, cooperation versus competition, modesty next to assertiveness, and self-effacement compared to self-actualization. Often, global differences in value systems keep us apart and result in spectacularly destructive dissimilarities. How we value a life, for example, can be crucial in terms of how we treat individuals. What value we place on family, work, leisure time, or progress has a substantial effect on how we see and evaluate each other.

Cultural studies tell us that there are major differences between and even within nations. Global marketing, through its linkages via goods, services, ideas, and communications, can achieve important assimilation of value systems. On the consumer side, new products offer international appeal and encourage similar activities around the world. It has been claimed that local product offerings help define people and provide identity and that it is the local idiosyncrasies that make people beautiful. Some even offer the persistence of the specific breakfast habits of the English and French as evidence of local immutability in the face of globalization.

Yet, we should remember that values are learned, not genetically implanted. As life’s experience grow more international and more similar, so do values. Therefore, every time international marketing forges a new linkage in thinking, new progress is made in shaping a greater global commonality in values which makes it easier for countries, companies, and individuals to build bridges between them, may eventually become the field’s greatest gift to the world.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Czinkota’s book Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead, co-authored by Dr. Ilkka Ronkainen.

Michael R Czinkota and Ilkka A Ronkainen, Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead (New York: Routledge, 2011), pg. 236-237.

Click HERE to acquire the full book.