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Countries, companies, and customers are increasingly concerned with sustainability. What is unclear from a business perspective, however, is how much cost can be tolerated for sustainability efforts and what markets’ sensitivities are to product prices? The results of a large-scale study that I undertook with colleagues (article) indicate that product-market performance can be achieved even when costs/prices increase by 27 to 72%, and when companies implement sustainability efforts that are 5 to 30% above sustainability efforts of the company’s home country.

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The historical arc of international trade bends towards more of it. That’s why current efforts to skew trade further in favor of the U.S. by restricting access to the market will almost assuredly fail.

That also seems to be the lesson for the UK, as even many leavers want to remain part of the EU trade union, which among other benefits allows goods to be exchanged among members without paying duties.  The UK government must soon level with its citizens and let them know that they can’t select what they want from the EU as if they’re invited to a free buffet.

By insisting on renegotiating existing fee trade agreements to force terms more favorable to the U.S., and also slapping punitive tariffs on imports from certain trading partners, Trump hopes to erase decades of trade deficits and restore jobs lost when U.S. companies outsourced manufacturing to China and other countries. These efforts are not likely to work as promised and may end up making things much worse.