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The ever expanding flow of commercial products and services across borders has important implications for public diplomacy. Despite the escalation of transnational corporations, high profile brand names are closely connected with their countries of origin. Coca Cola, Nike and McDonald's are inextricably tied with the United States. The same associations are true for Ikea with Scandanavia, Nokia with Finland, Sony with Japan, and Nestle with Switzerland.
Corporations and governments alike recognize their people interdependence. Positive brand identification can elevate a country's profile. Conversely, poor national images abroad are bad for business.
In 1999, the U.S. State Department introduced the [Award for Corporate Excellence] to recognize companies that display best business practices, strong community service programs, and exemplary corporate social responsibility practices abroad.
Business people are also playing a more high profile role in current dialog about public diplomacy. Organizations such as [Business for Diplomatic Action] and the [Business Council for International Understanding] are among several corporate initiatives that maintain that anti-americanism is bad for business.