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Will 2017 be a big year for international business activity?

For some U.S. companies, international business activity (such as business with China) is a big part of their operations. A recent survey suggests that, among big companies at least, 2017 might be a year of increased international business activity for U.S. companies.

The survey was of some business leaders with U.S. companies that bring in $50 million or more in annual revenue. Over 280 such leaders were surveyed.

Of the leaders surveyed, 81 percent said they anticipate an increase in their company’s international business activity over the next year. In comparison, in 2016, only 64 percent of respondents expected such an increase.

When it came to what countries respondents viewed as being important ones for their company’s international business, China held a top spot. It tied with Canada for being the country the most business leaders cited as likely being important for their company’s future success. A little over four of 10 of the respondents cited China as such.

Now, large companies are not the only ones in America for which international business can play a big role. There are a wide range of smaller companies here in the U.S. who engage in such activity. One wonders how smaller companies are feeling about their international business prospects this year.

While the survey indicates a fair amount of optimism regarding international business this year among large U.S. companies, it also points to such companies having some concerns on this front. This includes concerns over what will happen with trade agreements in the future. Concerns related to such agreements were cited by many of the respondents.

Now, trade agreements are far from the only legal mechanism that can have big impacts on U.S. companies that do international business, such as business in China. Examples of others include the laws, rules/regulations, legal processes and court system of the countries they do business in. These things can have all kinds of implications for a company when disputes or other legal issues come up over their international business activities. So, when a U.S. company encounters legal troubles in connection to business in China, it may want skilled guidance on the unique aspects of business-related legal matters in China.

Source: Global Trade Review, “US companies optimistic despite free trade concerns,” Melodie Michel, April 18, 2017

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