Global Attitudes Toward American Business

Feb 14, 2008

The Aspen Institute and World Learning recently conducted a poll that found that “a vast majority of Americans are concerned about the continuing decline in the United States’ reputation overseas.” Specifically, 36 percent of Americans believe that negative attitudes about the US could prompt boycotts of American products and retailers.

It is likely that behind these poll numbers is a fear that America is losing ground in an ever-increasing global economy. Globalization is a topic that sparks heated debate on both sides—from those that want to shut down our borders to those that want an open trade policy. No matter where you stand on the issue, you cannot deny that we are more integrated with the rest of the world than ever before, and much more interdependent.

So, if this 36 percent of Americans are correct, it is bad news for the American business community, and subsequently, for all of us whose livelihoods depend on a growing economy.

But, what do these same Americans believe is the way to stop the downward trend of the American reputation?

According to the poll, 39 percent of Americans believe that the most effective way to improve relations with other countries is to increase business contacts with those countries. This is a very high percentage of people, and highlights Americans faith in the power of business to not only create wealth, but also to improve good will and good relationships abroad.

But what Americans think about their own companies can be very different from the way the rest of the world feels. It is crucial for businesses to fully understand their image in the eyes of their foreign customers, employees, and stakeholders.

To better understand the recent trends in global attitudes toward American businesses, BCLC is hosting a webinar on February 29, 2008 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST.  GlobeScan Inc., an international public opinion research consultant, will be presenting their recent report on global views of American companies, and the societal trends that influence these attitudes. This is a chance to hear how the American brand affects American businesses, and what practices are most effective in maintaining a good reputation abroad.

We hope you can join us.

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