What Trump pulling out of the TPP means for America
President-elect Donald Trump has announced that one of his first acts as President will be to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
The TTP is a trade deal between the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan among other international giants, in an effort to strengthen economic ties. Trump has referred to the arrangement as “the greatest danger yet” and “a continuing rape of our country”, and plans to negotiate fair international deals which will bring industry to the nation and not – as the TPP allegedly does – favor big businesses.
CEO and Founder of logistics company Freightos, Dr. Zvi Schreiber, offered his perspective:
“Yesterday President-elect Trump promised to nullify the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his first day in office. You could call this Trump’s inauguration gift to China at the expense of rapidly developing countries like Vietnam. Free trade agreements and shifting labor costs continue to move manufacturing and exports from China to Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam. Southeast Asia-US trade has been helped by cost-effective labor and low-cost transparent freight and the now shattered promise of free trade.
“Instead of improving global trade, cancelling TPP will hinder shifting manufacturing patterns, bolster China’s export industry, and hinder the continuation of the rapid growth of Vietnam's economy with GDP multiplying 5X since 2000. Vietnam and other countries that export to the US were not destined to be the TPP’s only benefactor; US exports have continued to grow, with exports to Vietnam exploding by 473 percent in the last decade.
“Transparent trade, from sourcing to duties to freight shipping, are the cornerstone of the global economy. With over $1.2 trillion dollars of goods imported to the US from the 10 non-North American signatories in the past five years, the ultimate price for canceling the TPP will be paid by US consumers who will face higher prices.
“Even within the US, not implementing the TPP will do more harm than good. US manufacturers may find it easier to compete domestically, but they will find it harder to export (nearly $900 billion dollars of goods were exported to non-North American TPP signatories in the past five years).
Kamel Mellahi, a Professor of Strategic Management at Warwick Business School and an expert on business in China and Asia, commented:
"The TPP trade deal, yet to be ratified, took years of intensive negotiations and was hailed as a ground breaking free trade deal across the Pacific Countries.
"It is true that, in relative terms, some countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and New Zealand were expected to benefit more from the TPP trade deal than the US and even Australia. It is also true that the TPP trade deal gave multinational corporations enormous powers over governments and states, but the deal was going to bring significant economic benefits to all the countries involved.
"Beside all the potential economic benefits, the TPP trade deal was seen as a manoeuvre to reduce Pacific Rim countries’ dependence on China and tie them to the US economy. By announcing that it is going to withdraw from the TPP trade deal, the US has unwittingly scored an huge own-goal by kicking the ball in their own net.
"I don’t think the remaining 11 countries are going to go it alone. The US withdrawal from the deal will kill it off. One cannot see the trade deal working without the US. There is no doubt that China would fill this vacuum and strengthen its economic status in the Pacific Rim region. The announced withdrawal has the capacity to do huge damage to the economies of some Pacific Rim countries and one would expect them to move closer to China while reducing their dependence on the US economy."
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.