Business Research Paper – Chevron (2015)

| June 4, 2016


Research Paper

U.S. trade-related government institutions, statutes, and processes – both political and regulatory – can have a significant impact on business strategy, both domestically and internationally. In addition, the implementation of major international trade agreements (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the creation of the World Trade Organization have transformed the trading environment. Further regional integration is taking place in the Americas with the negotiation of the FTAA, in Africa with SADC and COMESA, between the US and the European Union with the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and elsewhere with other regional agreements such as APEC and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the Asia-Pacific area.

Each student will select a large or small U.S. or non-U.S. company confronting a trade-related challenge from foreign competitors in its home market, or itself ready to challenge them abroad. The paper should analyze the nature of the trade-related challenge and indicate which governmental institutions and processes the firm should employ to implement its strategy. At a minimum, the paper should include:

a brief description of the company, (size, market share, products, international exposure);
the major trade challenge facing that company;
the role of the government(s) and NGOs in the issue; and
recommendations for a strategy the company can pursue which lays out the pros and cons of alternative approaches.
For example, one might analyze the impact (positive or negative) of the WTO and/or the NAFTA on that company’s business. Such an analysis would address how a company might wish to take advantage of these agreements, protect itself from the detrimental effects of these agreements, or alternatively, develop a strategy for how a new round of WTO negotiations might help a company resolve an outstanding trade problem. The paper should also address how these same issues might arise in future trade negotiations.

Papers should be concise; the entire document should be no longer than 10 double-spaced pages. The report should exemplify graduate level writing, and include professional-looking graphics where appropriate for the presentation of data and analysis. Footnotes and bibliography are required following the style set down in the APA Manual.

What I am writing about: Company: Chevron

Chevron is the U.S.’s second largest oil company. To be, and remain successful, Chevron’s focus is one of long-term commitment and large capital investments. Investment protection is of great concern to Chevron. With expectations of continued future expansions, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement is of importance for operating business in other countries. Chevron is looking to take advantage of the opportunities that this agreement affords, and has hopes that all US Free Trade Agreements will include these same stipulations. With the TTIP in place, Chevron is able to look forward to protection of current and future investment endeavors.

Faculty Comment:

I like your focus on issues related to investment and how these issues will be addressed within the TTIP. Just be aware that investment protections are also subject of negotiations elsewhere, most of which have been unsuccessful, so it will be worthwhile to provide some analysis of why, within the context of TTIP, coverage of investment may be more successful. I look forward to reading the result and conclusions of your research.

Some Reference Material:

Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, Overview and Compilation of U.S. Trade Statutes, Part I of II., 2010 edition, 111th Congress, 2nd session, WMCP 111-6 [available in reserved readings and also online”> [hereinafter referred to as “Overview”]

Note: For students interested in the latest revisions to the statutes themselves,”> But it does not include the nice summary overview; that was last available in 2010, and it is the Overview which is required reading for this course.

The Brock Group (1992)The Formulation and Implementation of U.S. Trade Policy. Washington, D.C. (available under Course Content).

Department of Commerce, International Trade”>

World Trade Organization, (2003)Understanding the WTO, Geneva,”>

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