“May You Live in Interesting Times”: Relocating to a New, Trumped America

For so many years now, the United States of America has stood proudly as the bastion and source, if not the hub, of most global business. As an incredible breeding ground for business opportunities and a huge, wealthy market itself, America is the place where anybody who is anybody has an arm; as many foreign businesses have eagerly moved operations into the country each year as individual workers have chased after the fabled green card. However, that America may be no more as of 2017, as the first term of a Donald Trump presidency seems to be hinged on the idea of returning jobs and profits to US natives.

So, in this climate of immigration bans and threats of blunt sanctions against companies which are “UnAmerican” or seen to be stealing US profits, how can overseas businesses go about establishing their employees in Trump’s America? Here are a few changes to look out for:

 

Trump’s “travel ban” still looms large

The first globally notable product of the new presidency, Trump’s promised ban on immigration by nationals of select Muslim-majority nations kicked off a month of massive turmoil and debate, testing the powers of the various arms of US government against each other. While the ban itself is being slowly dismantled by the courts and Trump’s opponents, its effects are still keenly felt. It would seem irresponsible for any company to send Muslim employees to America in such a tense climate, especially when nobody can say for sure that the president will not reinstate or even extend his travel bans and call their safety into question.

 

Combative nationalism determines the role of expats

For as long as the rhetoric of the sitting administration remains focused on setting the ire of their constituents against everything foreign, there rises a question about how foreign businesses should look to position themselves in American markets. While there is no doubt that foreign businesses will continue to turn profits in the US – Trump is himself too much the global businessman to close that door completely – being seen to do so through American workers and American spokespeople may help to avoid the ire of the president and his diehard supporters. Consider prioritising the relocation of foreign employees to less visible roles over public-facing ones.

 

Consider the local climate

America right now is a big, divided country. Electoral maps from Trump’s victory show that not only was it narrow, but it split the country down geographical lines more clearly than ever before. The fact that the political issues of the day are ones of fundamental rights and freedoms have polarised the entire country, and it’s no surprise that the cities showing blue on that map are likely to be much friendlier environments for foreign businesses and their employees. If you are planning on relocating your workers to America, aim to base them in somewhere like San Fransisco’s Silicon Valley; unsurprisingly, those 

 

To find out more about Allied Pickfords’ moving services, or to book a consultation, visit www.alliedpickfords.com.sg or call +65 6862 4700.

 

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How to Enjoy Chinese New Year as an Expat in Singapore

 

 

For many native Singaporean residents, the rapidly approaching Lunar New Year represents the single most important date of the year. Also known as Chinese New Year, the spring festival holiday is associated with traditions thousands of years old and is celebrated by communities the world over. Singapore marks the auspicious date with a public extravaganza of light and dance, getting fully into the festival spirit with food, fashion, and public events.
If you’re an expat currently living in Singapore, the advent of such a raucous and colourful holiday might be the perfect cultural experience, but it also could be a bewildering drain on your energy if you aren’t prepared. With that in mind, here’s a short guide to the key facets of Chinese New Year in Singapore.

Paint the town red
One of the most visible cultural foundations of the Spring Festival is the veneration of the colour red, which is simply everywhere in Singapore at this time. Seen to signify luck and prosperity, you will see people buying new clothes, cooking food, and daubing their homes in the colour. 
If you plan on celebrating or at least blending in during the festival, it’s a good idea to plan your best “red” look. Buying new clothes – especially ones which are red themselves – is considered good luck at this time of year, so don’t be afraid to splash out a bit in order to look the part.

It’s all about family
Togetherness and family unity are a huge cultural theme of the holiday. One of the central moments of the holiday season is Reunion Dinner, when scattered family members move hell and high water to get home for dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year. If you’re a lonesome single expat far from home on a night like this, it can be very easy to feel cut off from the celebration and sink into a melancholy homesickness.
Take the opportunity to match like with like; Allied Pickfords recommends looking into local expat bars and social media groups to see if anyone else is partying against the grain on reunion night.

It’s not just about the New Year
In Singapore, the Lunar New Year is traditionally marked by a 2-day public holiday, sometimes 3-day, and the revellers will make those days count. But if the holiday itself is too intense or just not your style, the festive season persists for a good month around this crimson crescendo. Featuring a range of mouth-watering seasonal food prepared only around the New Year, colourful public decorations and a cheerful, relaxed atmosphere, this could be the perfect antidote to frantic New Year’s Eve celebrations. Make sure to witness the legendary Chingay Parade, held 8 days after the Lunar New Year and one of Singapore’s most cherished public traditions.

 

To find out more about Allied Pickfords’ moving services, or to book a consultation, visit www.alliedpickfords.com.sg or call +65 6862 4700.

 

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