With the clock ticking towards Brexit, UK businesses will be looking to take advantage of the ‘free trade’ that comes with exiting the European Union.
While politicians and civil servants debate the intricacies of what ‘trading’ will look like in a post-Brexit world, businesses want to know where the opportunities will be, whatever terms the UK is subject to.
The answer already exists – and it’s across the Atlantic with the United States.
This Transatlantic relationship, the ‘special relationship’ as it is often called in political circles, remains strong. While many figures get bandied about on exports, what is undeniable is the fact that the US is the UK’s biggest export market, when analysed on a nation-by-nation basis – and is only likely to increase.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics in January 2018 valued exports from the UK to the US in 2016 at £99.6bn. By comparison, Germany was £49.1bn and France £33.8bn.
Factor in the positive noises about trade relations coming from President Trump in the summer, then the prospect of exporting to the US is certainly worth time investigating.
Many businesses across the north-west already have a positive trading relationship, as the US is the region’s biggest export market with £4bn worth of goods going west annually.
The door is open for more and Sci-Tech Daresbury recently hosted a dedicated event, in partnership with Avitus Group, British American Business Council and the Department for International Trade North West, to give an insight on the benefits of exporting to the US, how to achieve this and how to overcome the challenges.
All three organisations have vast experience and know-how, plus contacts both side of ‘the pond’ which can make it easier than trying to ‘go it alone’.
Paul Stowers, DTI, Head, UK Regions – North West, explained how it can support businesses considering exporting to the US.
“As one of the biggest regional exporters we’re proving every day that we can do it,” he said.
“If business want to know why they should consider exporting to the US, well there are huge opportunities across most sectors for our companies, big or small, and from a range of sectors and industries.
“UK businesses, goods and services are highly respected in the US; while our common language and culture give us an edge, though businesses must be prepared to tough it out as buyers will drive a hard bargain.”
Working with a highly-respected government department also brings other advantages.
“We connect to a big network of support in the US, with staff based at the British Embassy and consulates, as well as in partner organisations,” added Stowers.
“We can find specific contacts and information, as a subsidised though chargeable service, and we can sometimes give grant support to companies travelling to the US for trade missions and exhibitions.
“It is a leap, but there’s a lot of free support and advice available here in the north-west region. It is certainly worth talking someone. The DIT has a network of International Trade Advisers who can provide free, independent advice on a one-to-one basis for our companies.”
This useful link provides an overview of what the DIT in the North West does and can offer.
Avitus Group, much like the DIT, provide ‘The One Stop Shop For A USA Entry’ service. It has a dedicated international planning team, who can assist with the likes of tax planning, location, banking support and visa and immigration.
We highly recommend visiting the websites of all three organisations to get real idea of the opportunities, what’s involved and to arrange a chat with their knowledgeable teams.
As Britain prepares for a new future, the opportunity is there for your business to do the same.
BABC – http://www.babc.org/