How can your international business stay ahead of tariffs and trade wars?


Lively business team running in the city. Group of businessmen and businesswomen wearing full business suit with business buildings background.

Lively business team running in the city. Group of businessmen and businesswomen wearing full business suit with business buildings background.

Threats of steep, targeted tariffs, which could lead to trade wars, have been making the headlines lately. If you are worried about the possible effects on your international business you are not alone.

In response to this somewhat tumultuous trade environment we took to Twitter last week and gathered trade experts from North America, Europe and Asia, to discuss what the concerns are and how international businesses can protect their companies from the effects of incoming tariffs and prepare to weather the storm of a potential trade war.

What followed was a lively discussion with some useful insights, too good not to share. So check out the chat recap below and share your thoughts, questions and concerns in the comments below.

Learn how to ensure your company remains profitable by conducting cost-benefit analyses, risk mitigation strategies and more of the key success factors with the Feasibility of International Trade online course.


Leah Goold-Haws (@LeahGlobal), Director of the Center for International Trade Development in Los Angeles and Founder of Girls Gone Global (@GlobalBizGirls), based in Long Beach, USA


Varun Anthony, CITP (@VarunAnthony) International Trade Specialist based in Mumbai, India

Audrey Ross (@TresAudrey) Logistics & Customs Specialist at Orchard International Inc., based in Toronto, Canada

Clarecia Christie, CITP (@ClareciaChriste) Project Manager, Trade Information Services at TFO Canada, based in Ottawa, Canada

Cathy Morrow Roberson (@CMRoberson06) Founder and Head Analyst Logistics Trends & Insights LLC, based in Atlanta, USA

Craig Atkinson, CITP (@CraigAAtkinson) Trade, Technology and Sustainable Development Specialist at the International Trade Centre and Founder/Director of Lexmerca International Trade, based in Switzerland, England and Canada

Michael A. Smith (@WTCLosAngeles) International Trade Manager at World Trade Center Los Angeles, based in Los Angeles, USA

Julie Samson (@sbentrepreneurs) Director and Deputy Sector Navigator at Center for International Trade Development and Executive Director at Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Santa Barbara City College, based in Santa Barbara, USA

What is the definition of a tariff?

Quick teaser – which of these US products have benefited from tariffs? Tuna, Paperclips or Tobacco?

Does every country institute tariffs? Do you have any examples of current tariffs?

If tariffs are utilized by many countries, then how do tariffs potentially lead to trade wars?

Do tariffs really protect domestic workers, as President Trump claims with the steel/aluminum tariffs, or is there a flip side to this argument?

Any thoughts on how China might retaliate against the latest tariffs? Will these maneuvers impact the consumers – in China or elsewhere?

With the integration of the global supply chain, what are some consequences to trade wars even for nations not directly involved?

So who is most likely to really feel the impacts of tariffs and trade wars? Businesses? Consumers? National economies?

If everyone pays some price in a trade war, is there anything businesses can do to prepare or offset the inevitable?

So, is a trade war inevitable? In light of the protectionist strategies, how do we articulate the benefits of globalization?

Read the rest of the chat and follow future discussions by following the #TradeElite hashtag. And stay tuned for the next #TradeElite chat, coming up Thursday, April 19 at 2:30-3:30PM ET, and if you haven’t yet, join us on Twitter at @FITTNews.

Are you worried about tariffs and trade wars affecting your international business? What have you done to mitigate the risks to your bottom line?

About the author

Author: Pamela Hyatt

I am the Content Marketing Specialist for the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). You can find some of my work on My background is in copywriting, journalism and social media. My passion lies in connecting people to the stories that are most important to them.

disqus comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *