The Problems of U.S. Businesses Operating Abroad in Terrorist Environments

by Susanna W. Purnell, Eleanor Sullivan Wainstein

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Based on interviews with 59 businessmen, their advisers, and U.S. government officials, this report focuses on the problems of U.S. businesses that run overseas operations in high-risk environments, particularly Latin America. These problems include operating in a climate of instability, high costs of property damage, ransom payments, and expenditures for security purposes; and managerial and technical adjustments that often lower productivity and hamper quality control. Despite the hardships, most businesses do not pull out of a country as a result of terrorist threats or attacks, but cope with them as with other acts of violence.

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