Fo­cus on: The USA

De­spite Brexit uncer­tainty and Trump tar­iffs, An­gloAmer­i­can re­la­tions re­main strong and the United States is the UK’S top ex­port mar­ket. Ben­jamin coren dis­cov­ers how UK busi­nesses can ben­e­fit

The Business Travel Magazine - - Contents -

Com­pris­ing 50 states, a fed­eral dis­trict and self-gov­ern­ing ter­ri­to­ries and pos­ses­sions, the United States of Amer­ica re­ally is the land of op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­ness.

The USA is the largest, most com­pet­i­tive and tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced econ­omy in the world and US GDP has ex­pe­ri­enced con­sis­tent growth of 1.8% or more since 2011. And what's more, it's also the UK’S top ex­port des­ti­na­tion. The US is an at­trac­tive prospect for a range of UK com­pa­nies and ben­e­fits from low reg­u­la­tory bar­ri­ers, min­i­mal lan­guage bar­ri­ers, ac­cess to global sup­ply chain and a strong rule of law. How­ever, ex­port­ing busi­nesses will be aware of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s trade tar­iffs im­posed in Jan­uary 2018. The con­tro­ver­sial fees add a 25% tar­iff on im­ports of steel, and 10% on alu­minium on Eu­ro­pean Union coun­tries.

And items rang­ing from so­lar pan­els to wash­ing ma­chines pro­duced out­side of the US will also have tar­iffs im­posed which start at a higher rate and grad­u­ally de­creases over the fol­low­ing years.

The UK’S In­ter­na­tional Trade Sec­re­tary, Liam Fox, told par­lia­ment: “For the prod­ucts within the scope of these tar­iffs, in 2017, the US ac­counted for 7% of UK steel ex­ports and 3% of UK alu­minium ex­ports. The UK ac­counted for 1% of US steel im­ports and 0.1% of US alu­minium im­ports, in ton­nage, at a value of £360 mil­lion and £29 mil­lion re­spec­tively.” Wash­ing­ton D.C. and New York are home to both the World Bank and the United Na­tions, re­spec­tively, and these or­gan­i­sa­tions can pro­vide good busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for those break­ing into the U.S. mar­ket to tap in to. The two agen­cies, com­bined with nu­mer­ous others, spend over $180bil­lion on goods, ser­vices and aid each year.

For UK busi­nesses, the top im­port­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties into the US are elec­tri­cal machin­ery and equip­ment, me­chan­i­cal ap­pli­ances, ve­hi­cles, min­eral fu­els and oils, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, fur­ni­ture, pre­cious stones and met­als, or­ganic chem­i­cals and plas­tics.

Busi­nesses need to be aware of the mar­ket they are en­ter­ing into and the po­ten­tial risks. There are ma­jor dif­fer­ences be­tween the 50 states and, as such, should each be treated as sep­a­rate mar­kets.

The US is very com­pet­i­tive and there is sat­u­ra­tion of prod­ucts due to the size of the coun­try. Le­gal ac­tion and lit­i­ga­tion is com­mon­place, so busi­nesses need to be pre­pared for any le­gal pro­ceed­ings against them. There are some po­ten­tially high costs for do­ing busi­ness in­clud­ing busi­ness in­sur­ance, cost of liv­ing and work­ing visas which are also ex­pen­sive.

the USA time zones: Pa­cific time GMT –8hrs; Moun­tain time GMT –7hrs; Cen­tral time GMT –6hrs; East­ern Time GMT –5hrs cur­rency: US Dol­lar; £1=$1.32 US Di­alling code: +1

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