Over the past few decades, U.S.-based companies haveshifted more and more chores previously performed in-house—from ITwork and answering customer calls to finance and accountingtasks—to lower-cost locations around the world. That trend towardservices outsourcing has now run up against two potential threats:increasing political risk around the globe and, here in the UnitedStates, the Trump administration's emphasis on keeping jobs athome.

In just the last year, markers of the mounting risk haveincluded the U.K. vote for Brexit and the U.S. election of DonaldTrump. U.K. consultancy Verisk Maplecroft predicts that all regionsof the world will see a decline in the stability of governmentsover the next three years. While the hazard is greatest indeveloping nations in the Middle East and Africa, Europeancountries are also at risk, the firm said.

The Philippines, one of the world's most popular outsourcinglocations, is a high-profile example. The nation has had a hecticsix months since Rodrigo Duterte became president last summer.Duterte has made combative comments about the United States,including announcing the Philippines' “separation” from the U.S.last fall along with his preference for an alliance with Russia andChina. Duterte also has supported extrajudicial killings of drugdealers and addicts in an attempt to control the nation's drugproblem, with Amnesty International estimating that 7,000 peoplehave been killed since July.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.