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Crisis on the Homefront

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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 “America First” platform, the president-elect has chiefly targeted companies that have – or plan to – 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 – cleverly described by Reuters as “the high priests of globalization” – 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 – or at least delaying outsourcing – 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.

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