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
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