How U.S. Businesses Can Compete with China in Emerging Markets: Transitioning from a ‘Death Economy’ to a ‘Life Economy’

For decades, American businesses working in emerging markets have prioritized profit maximization regardless of the social and environmental costs — an approach that economist and author John Perkins describes as the “death economy.” But as China has supplanted America as the top investor and trading partner in many of these markets, Perkins attributes its success to its embrace of the ideals — if not always the practices — of sustainable development. He explores how China’s promotion of a regenerative “life economy” has resonated in developing countries, and how U.S. businesses can respond.

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