The U.S. elections have left strong marks these past weeks. Not only on a social-political level do we all feel its effects, but also on the wider, global entrepreneurial one.
While those having chosen Trump for president are U.S. citizens, it is also far beyond the American borders that strong implications will arise. Multinational companies and especially multilingual and multicultural businesses are the first ones in line to get affected by this whole political change.
If we take into consideration the mere approach behind Trump’s speech throughout its whole presidential campaign, it is only obvious how cultural diversity and tolerance are at stake. Political correctness is being demonized, and the world seems somehow to be shaped around the binary us versus them, us versus those who are different, those who are not welcome here.
Trump’s cabinet is a clear statement of his “no diversity” perspective, which only puts the value of multiculturalism and diversity in danger. But the thing is when it comes to multinational businesses, diversity is what reads success.
When you are aiming at reaching clients from very wide and culturally different areas, you have to know how to speak with them. You have to have the right people on your team, those who know and understand your target clients better.
Many language recruitment agencies provide you outstanding multilingual employees for your business. But what happens if these bilingual/multilingual speakers are actually among those who are not welcome by the new world order under the Trump perspective? What can be better at providing customer services in your clients’ language than a native speaker?
From Multicultural Entrepreneurship to “Unpatriotism”
As Forbes puts it in one of its recent articles, 2017 will indeed be a disruptive year for multinational firms. Trump has already aligned its economic vision to one of “America First.” In short, U.S. multinationals are forced to decouple from global value chains under accusations of “unpatriotism.” If reaching out to global markets can be threatened by claims of “lack of patriotism,” then many multilingual companies can end up being strongly affected.
One major example of what the future might hold for multinationals is Carrier Corp, whose intended move to Mexico has been repelled as “unpatriotic” and “vicious” by Trump and its team and has thus been reversed. Trump’s power in action makes it clear that business shall happen under precise rules of his making.
If sensible tax reforms, such as the amnesty for multinational companies to repatriate foreign profit can sound like an economic growth stimulation measure, the political and economic stage is under blurred perspective.
The Guardian makes it clear that Trump’s U.S.A. is one designed to shift away from free trade, globalization and open markets – the core values that lie behind the great entrepreneurial success of multinational, multilingual companies nowadays.
While this protectionist perspective that has been so strongly delivered during the presidential campaign is still hard to envision shortly, we cannot but think of all possible outcomes. Closing the “gates” both economically and socially can translate into a hit for these multilingual businesses whose main aim is to open doors and reach beyond. To create and communicate with new customers throughout the world and to be able to bring them still together, to make them relate to each other.
So what can we do until we have further proof? Build those bridges and make them stronger. Divide et impera has never sounded more off base than now.