As The Venezuelan Government Seizes A GM Plant, Some Multinational Firms Play A Long Game

Despite risks to security and profits, some American companies have kept their operations going in Venezuela, hoping a return to reap rewards when and if the government of the oil-rich nation returns to stability.

By Michael MarksApril 21, 2017 4:48 pm

Venezuela’s economy is in shambles. Its people are suffering, consumer goods and medicines are scarce and many foreign companies have pulled out of the country altogether. This week, street protests threw the oil-rich nation into further turmoil. Amid the chaos, Venezuelan authorities seized a General Motors plant in Valencia.  GM denounced the move and officials said the auto maker would cease operations in Venezuela, where it employs about 2,700 people.

Miguel Salcedo, a global risk and investigations consultant for FTI Consulting in Houston says it is possible that the Trump administration will take aggressive action on behalf of GM and other American companies, particularly because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has a history with Venezuela.

“We have to also remember that Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon, lost a lot of money in Venezuela – somewhere on the order of $15 billion,” Salcedo says. “So it’s personal for the secretary of state, and I’m sure he’s keeping that in mind in his future dealings with the Venezuelan government.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What risks foreign businesses face in Venezuela

– Why some companies are staying in the country

– How President Donald Trump’s response to Venezuela’s upheaval is likely to differ from President Barack Obama’s