Over the last week, there has been a lot of attention placed upon new legislation enacted by President Trump that placed tariffs upon imports, specifically from China. It was not received well by China, which was demonstrated by their response that they “refuse to be trampled upon” (Asia News Monitor, 2018). If the six dimensions of national culture are reviewed, it shows us that the United States and China score high on masculinity (GeertHofstede.com, n.d.). China actually had a higher score than the United States, so it seems oddly natural for the knee-jerk reaction. From China’s perspective, the United States was showing dominance by placing tariffs upon them, so the response had to be one of power to show that they were not inferior to the U.S. Moran, Abramson & Moran stated that a common Chinese practice is to build relationships and when that tactic failed, they resort to ancient military strategies (2014, p.408). In this example, it seems that China has scrapped any hope of a working relationship with the U.S. and is going to use other methods to retaliate for the tariffs. The worst part of the scenario is that the tariffs are hurting domestic industry.
My employer is a manufacturer with aluminum being a main component. Since our industry is so specialized and there are few U.S. competitors, we cannot get the special aluminum in the U.S. The only two countries that manufacture it is China and France. Aside from the tariff that was placed specifically upon China, there is another tariff that was just imposed upon aluminum and steel imports into the U.S. Due to this, it has harmed my employer by significantly increasing the cost of our main component. If there was a U.S. manufacturer who we could get this from, we would, but there is not. Since the President has used this situation as a masculinity demonstration, it has shaken the global community.
According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the tariffs that the President has enacted may be illegal (Lee, 2018). By reviewing Hofstede’s masculinity map, it seems that many members of the WTO are in the mid-range of masculinity (GeertHofste.com, n.d.). This means that there may be several members attempting to offset the United States’ power move, thus resulting in an environment which is not conducive to industry. If we look harder at the information Moran et al presented about conducting business with China, it is apparent that the move the President has taken will not result in a better global environment.
If the U.S. would consider the perception of other countries, including China, and then take that into consideration, it would be easier to craft a plan to boost the economy while also preserving international relationships. China is big on relationship management and also holds the majority of American debt (Moran et al, 2014). With that in mind, it seems advantageous to stay on good terms with China. However, the damage has been done and we have yet to see how U.S. industries, such as ours, will be negatively impacted by the President’s policies.
Asia News Monitor. (March 19, 2018). United States/China: Trump’s tariffs may end up benefiting China, analysts say. Asia News Monitor. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/docview/2014755577/fulltext/C14C56BDCE174AAEPQ/1?accountid=13158
Geert Hofstede.com. (n.d.). The 6-D model of national culture. Retrieved from https://geerthofstede.com/culture-geert-hofstede-gert-jan-hofstede/6d-model-of-national-culture/
Lee, D. (March 18, 2018). Trump tariffs may threaten WTO: other nations may use security rule to skirt trade system. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/docview/2014663322?pq-origsite=summon&accountid=13158
Moran, R. T., Abramson, N. R. & Moran S. V. (2014). Managing cultural differences, (9th ed). New York, NY: Routledge.