Globalization in the Age of Trump

by Pankaj Ghemawat

Business leaders are scrambling to adjust to a world few imagined possible just a year ago. The myth of a borderless world has come crashing down. Traditional pillars of open markets — the United States and the UK — are wobbling, and China is positioning itself as globalization’s staunchest defender. Countries throughout North America and Europe have experienced waves of anti-globalization sentiment.

In the face of such uncertainty, leaders of multinationals wonder whether they should retreat, change strategy, or stay the course. In making that decision, they need to understand two things. First, the world is less globalized than even experienced executives realize. Second, history tells us that even in the face of a trade war, international trade and investment would still be too large for strategists to ignore.

Today’s turmoil calls not for a mass retreat from globalization but for a more subtle reworking of multinationals’ strategies. This article examines common misperceptions about what is — and isn’t — changing about globalization and offers guidelines to help leaders decide where and how to compete in a complex world. (Read the full article)

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