A multinational company (MNC) is an enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country. There are some challenges faced by MNC’s that transact business in international markets which can hinder its competitiveness hence its controversies and these are as follows;
It may seem strange that a corporation has decided to do business in a different country, where it doesn’t know the laws, local customs or business practices of such a country is likely to face some challenges that can reduce the manager’s ability to forecast business conditions. The additional costs caused by the entrance in foreign markets are of less interest for the local enterprise. Firms can also in their own market be isolated from competition by transportation costs and other tariff and non-tariff barriers which can force them to competition and will reduce their profits. The firms can maximize their joint income by merger or acquisition which will lower the competition in the shared market. This could also be the case if there are few substitutes or limited licenses in a foreign market.
Countries and sometimes subnational regions compete against one another for the establishment of MNC facilities, subsequent tax revenue, employment, and economic activity. To compete, countries and regional political districts must offer incentives to MNCs such as tax breaks, pledges of governmental assistance or improved infrastructure. When these incentives fail they are liable to face challenges which limit their chance of becoming more attractive to foreign investment. However, some scholars have argued that multinationals are engaged in a ‘race to the top.’ While multinationals certainly regard a low tax burden or low labor costs as an element of comparative advantage, there is no evidence to suggest that MNCs deliberately avail themselves of tax environmental regulation or poor labour standards.
Many multinational enterprises face the challenge of political instability when doing business in international markets. This kind of problem mostly occurs when there is an absence of a reliable government authority. When this happens, it adds to business costs, increase risks of doing business and sometimes reduces manager’s ability to forecast business trends. Political instability is also associated with corruption and weak legal frameworks that discourage foreign investments.
The size of multinationals can have a significant impact on government policy, primarily through the threat of market withdrawal. For example, in an effort to reduce health care costs, some countries have tried to force pharmaceutical companies to license their patented drugs to local competitors for a very low fee, thereby artificially lowering the price. When faced with that threat, multinational pharmaceutical firms have simply withdrawn from the market, which often leads to limited availability of advanced drugs. Countries that have been the most successful in this type of confrontation with multinational corporations are large countries such as United States and Brazil, which have viable indigenous market competitors.
Multinational corporate lobbying is directed at a range of business concerns, from tariff structures to environmental regulations. Companies that have invested heavily in pollution control mechanisms may lobby for very tough environmental standards in an effort to force non-compliant competitors into a weaker position. Corporations lobby tariffs to restrict competition of foreign industries. For every tariff category that one multinational wants to have reduced, there is another multinational that wants the tariff raised. Even within the U.S. auto industry, the fraction of a company’s imported components will vary, so some firms favor tighter import restrictions, while others favor looser ones. This is very serious and is very hard and takes a lot of work for the owner.