The list of companies that have been publicly chastised by President-elect Trump (likely President Trump, by the time you read this) grows by the week. Making good on his â€œAmerica Firstâ€ platform, the president-elect has chiefly targeted companies that have â€“ or plan to â€“ outsource jobs and production to foreign companies.
His Twitter tirades have destroyed millions of dollars in market cap for some of the nation™’s most respected brands. The threat is so significant that attendees of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland â€“ cleverly described by Reuters as â€œthe high priests of globalizationâ€ â€“ have begun laying plans to localize supply chains.
U.S.-based multinational corporations have a new calculus to consider: will increased cost of domestic production outweigh potential sales or market cap losses related to condemnation by the president? If not, relocating supply chains â€“ or at least delaying outsourcing â€“ may be the best option, especially if a Republican Congress helps Trump sweeten the deal with tax incentives.
At the very least, companies must consider implementing a certain amount of economic nationalism into their communications. Informing consumers and politicians about the U.S. impact of business is more important than ever.
When the president can effectively demolish a billion dollars of market cap in a single tweet, effectively communicating a nationalist economic message is an essential crisis-mitigation strategy. However, there may be a more positive benefit as well; as economic populism gains in popularity, local impact will become a competitive point of differentiation.
Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president tomorrow. It™’s time to adjust to the new reality.