Are Tariff Driven Business Transactions A New Norm?

Businesses operating in today’s reactionary, narrow-minded, and tariff driven –  (global) business transaction environments…which, in part, are owed to capricious and aggressive rhetoric becoming a norm in just 600+ days.

One response is more businesses are recognizing that…developing, safeguarding, monetizing, commercializing, and exploiting their valuable – competitive advantage intangible assets represent viable and lucrative strategic planning, ala recent announcements of (a.) significant and multi-country tariffs, combined with (b.) mega mergers and acquisitions in tech and big-pharma.

Collectively, this makes it all-the-more prudent that business leadership…recognize how erratic and capricious naming, shaming, and blaming, have become all-to-real contributors to adversely effecting business stability by creating volatility in domestic sector economics, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

There are an infinite number of strategies one can pursue their notion of ‘the American dream’…which routinely is characterized in (personal – family) financial contexts, i.e., purchasing power to acquire – sustain life’s aspired-desired amenities, sometimes by incurring debt, i.e., house, cars, children, vacations, and dinners out, ala Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, 1970 album titled ‘Déjà Vu’ “our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy because of you and our house..”.

The so-called ‘American dream’, however (what, how) one has been influenced to characterize it, or presume are its requisites…has, in my view, in the last 15+ months, become increasingly narrow, vertical, and encumbered by descriptors that are a collective of political, economic, and education assumptions and rhetoric. One need only listen to either competing and/or elected politicians who routinely apply (reference) those three words, ala ‘the American dream’, to elicit myriads of emotions and imaginations from an audience, some of course, are frustrations.

But, this post is not solely about merely slapping a new coat of paint on conventional caricatures of what constitutes ‘the American dream’…instead, this post is more about ‘the one in five Americans who consider themselves entrepreneurs’, i.e., engaged in a widening variety of entrepreneurial (employment) activities and presumably seeking a version of ‘the American dream’. For various reasons in the R&D sector for example, there is a presumption, that particular-dream involves, at some point, making application and/or aspiring to seek a patent – have a patent issued, being emblematic of their diligence, work, and unique achievement.

The realities of those adversely affected by the 2008 (economic) recession…remain in plain sight as stark reminders of serious challenges many Americans and citizens globally experienced. For some, those recessionary events required reconstituting previously held notions about viable and sustainable paths to extricate themselves, their R&D activities, and/or their companies from the economic recession, and still be in accordance with ‘the American dream’.

It’s not difficult to observe behaviors – practices, now known to have been precipitators to the 2008 economic crises…at least in the U.S., are re-emerging in rhetoric and action. Among my client engagements and (intangible asset) training, an underlying rationale-motivator for seeking my services is prompted by re-thinking, in more precise terms, other components-aspects to sustainability, i.e., to be better positioned to weather anticipated (materialized) economic downturns which, not infrequently, are outcomes to tariffs, trade wars, renegotiating long standing trade pacts, rollbacks of environmental policies, emasculating previous regulatory policies, etc. All, or anyone of which can cause business leaders to pause with respect to what they – their company will be capable-of-achieving and sustaining.

In carrying out the missions of my consultancy I am finding it’s important clients recognize how words like unstable, erratic, and capricious…are affecting business stability, strategic planning, product-service pricing, competitive advantage, and entrepreneurial direction-making

A favorable outcome of these circumstances for me is…the good fortune to observe very diligent and thoughtful (usually collaborative groups of) management teams engaged in innovative endeavors who are now seeking to advance – achieve operational level familiarity and clarity with the intangible assets their work-company is producing, while safeguarding and competitively and lucratively exploiting those assets, i.e., monetizing, commercializing, etc.

So, businesses and entrepreneurs operating in today’s tariff driven – reactionary (global) business transaction environments…are recognizing that effective and lucrative strategic planning lies in developing, safeguarding, monetizing, commercializing, and exploiting their valuable – competitive advantage intangible assets!

Michael D. Moberly April 4, 2018 St. Louis [email protected] A “Business Intangible Asset Blog’ where reader attention span, business realities, and solutions meet.

Readers are invited to explore other products, papers, and books I have published at



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