Welcome to the November 2017 BABC Trade & Investment Update 

Looking back at November, we have seen progress during the second session of the
UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group on closer partnerships in intellectual property, advancement of SME business and further relevant topics for companies seeking to trade and invest across the Atlantic. Moreover, the UK Government has released up-to-date balance of payments data for the fiscal year 2016 (Learn more here).

With the festive season just around the corner, we encourage you to look at the wide range of events and receptions taking place across the BABC network. Check out the Upcoming Events section below or the BABC website for more information on ongoing events and activities.

Our transatlantic network grows every day. Join us and get in touch at trade@babinc.org 

Follow @BABCTrade to stay up to date with all things trade. 
BAB London releases statement on UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group progress

BritishAmerican Business (BAB) on behalf of the whole BABC network across the UK and the US, welcomed the joint release by the Secretary of State for International Trade, The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, and the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, at the culmination of the second session of the UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group (WGTI) which took place in London.

The second meeting, the size of the delegations, and the progress in talks, are evidence of sustained momentum by both sides to explore a wide range of areas where the UK and US could have deeper economic integration, and to scope what could go into a potential trade agreement.

We are particularly pleased that the UK and US will be working closely to promote intellectual property, strengthen UK-US financial regulatory cooperation, advance small and medium sized businesses, and develop a UK/US Technology Safeguards Agreement. This builds on the announcement earlier this year that the UK and US have agreed on a Science and Technology Agreement, which BAB supports.

In preparation for the third meeting of the Group next year, BritishAmerican Business stands ready to provide a business stakeholder engagement platform into the dialogue on UK-US market access issues and the scope of a future UK-US Trade Agreement.
Special Feature

BritishAmerican Business Announces 'Finding Your Own Way: Trade & Investment Guide into the US' 2018

‘Finding your own way’ is the official BritishAmerican Business Trade and Investment Guide for UK-based companies seeking to expand into the US.

Endorsed by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Select USA, the 90-page guide offers practical advice in key areas as well as regional information on the US as a destination for investment as well as relevant contacts and partners who can help fulfil business ambitions.

The Guide is scheduled to be published both online and in print in Spring 2018.

If you are interested in becoming a partner in the Trade and Investment Guide 2018 please contact Silvia Rizzo srizzo@babinc.org
BAB and BABC Events
TransAtlantic Growth (TAG) Awards Networking Reception

On November 7, BAB London welcomed representatives from London's business community to the Grange St Paul’s as part of a series of networking events highlighting and promoting transatlantic SME growth. Moderator Neil Foster, Partner, Baker Botts LLP, led a panel including Colin Dale, VP Business Development, Vismo, and Sheraz Bhatti, Chief Innovation Officer, Avante Group, who discussed business strategies and experiences when making the step across the pond.

For more information on the Awards and to apply visit  www.babtagawards.com
BABC Miami EU Chamber Breakfast

On November 2, the BABC Miami President participated in a panel discussion with EU Chamber Presidents in South Florida about the impact of European Business on Miami and Florida’s Economy. 

The event was well attended by five EU Chambers (British, German, Spain, Italy, French) where the Presidents of each of the Chambers exchanged ideas on how European companies can best utilize the chambers as a resource to expand and invest in Florida.

BABC Miami President, Christine Alden enjoyed collaborating with the other EU Chambers in Miami and looks forward to working together again in future. The event was hosted and moderated by Greenberg Traurig Shareholder, Antonio Pena.

BABC Chicago Speaker Series: Kevin Hartman, Head of Analytics -Consumer, Government & Entertainment Sector, Google

On November 10, Kevin Hartman joined BABC Chicago Chapter for a luncheon discussion titled:
'Technology: Bulwark Against Fraud and Privacy Breach and the Tool to Commit It'.  A senior Google executive brings a frank talk to the BABC.

Kevin and his team partner with major advertisers, creative agencies, and media companies to develop digital solutions that build businesses and brands. His approach mixes science and art to deliver inventive, fact-based strategies that reduce uncertainty and increase effectiveness in the marketing and advertising programs they create.
BABC Tampa Bay Celebrates 5th Annual Guy Fawkes Night

On November 5, BABC Tampa Bay invited members to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night in Dunedin, FL.

An old English tradition, this Event was held in collaboration with Tampa Bay International Business Council to celebrate the foiling of a conspiracy on the House of Parliament in 1605.
BABC Charlotte celebrates 25th Anniversary

On November 9, BABC Charlotte held an amazing 25th anniversary dinner staring Sir Tim Rice.

A champagne cocktail reception, three-course dinner with wine service, and fireside conversation with Sir Tim Rice culminated with a live musical performance featuring some of his most memorable works from including Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Chess, Aladdin, Evita and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.
Outreach and Media
Peel Ports Westminster Reception

On November 15, Peel Ports held a Parliamentary reception in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster themed 'Leading logistics: forging a new future for international trade'.

Over 100 guests from the political, shipping and business communities attended the evening event, which focused on transatlantic opportunities and the importance of strengthening trade links between the UK and the Americas. Transport Minister, John Hayes MP, Lord Prescott and Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse were present, alongside leading UK businesses such as B&M Retail and Morning Food.

In his speech BABC CEO Jeffries Briginshaw emphasised the need for a strong logistics sector as well as the importance of grassroots businesses. The UK export trajectory should be built on three R's: resilience, regeneration and redistribution. Watch a short interview with Jeffries above to learn more about the event.

To learn more about the outcome please click here
BAB London meeting with Secretary Ross

BritishAmerican Business was pleased to host Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross at an informal Roundtable in London on 3 November. The occasion, which coincided with the Secretary’s visit to the UK for high-level talks with the British Government, was his first since leaving the BAB International Advisory Board and the private sector to serve as Secretary of Commerce.

Trump Administration updates demands as NAFTA talks continue

On November 18, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced new objectives in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Affirming the administration's aim of rewriting key portions of the 23-year-old agreement, the Office of the USTR made clear that it is looking to evaluate a process for foreign firms to sue governments over discrimination and expropriation issues. Negotiations remain uncertain, with the US position outlining top objectives such as a proposed expiration date clause, auto trade regulation and labor standards in vague terms.
Imports and Exports Update
Source: HM Revenue & Customs Trade Statistics, accessed 29 November 2017
Ask a Question
Follow Sietske de Groot on Twitter @Sytsque
VAT and Brexit

After Brexit the UK will be a non-EU country when it comes to VAT. What will this mean for businesses? Tradepeers Ltd Sietske de Groot has picked out a few changes.

 The Brexit negotiators are not yet talking trade, but the Commission has made it clear that retaining the European VAT system will not be on the cards. It means that the UK will no longer be bound by the EU VAT regime, including ECJ rulings, after it has left the EU. It will be free to set rates, if any, or even to devolve VAT to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In any case, VAT on trade of goods and services with Europe will change from 2021.

A British company buying from an EU business will no longer be able to do this VAT-free. Instead, import VAT of 20% will have to be paid to HMRC for the goods to enter the country, if this is what the Government decides. This can be a disincentive for EU companies to engage with the UK. It will simply be easier to do business with EU firms as they continue to benefit from VAT-free sales among each other. However, the EU is overhauling its VAT system so that business-to-business sales between EU countries will no longer be zero-rated. When this happens, the difference between selling to a company within the EU (zero-rate) or to a business in post-Brexit UK (import VAT) will disappear.
A British company moving parts within a supply chain, e.g. a manufacturer of car parts, will lose the possibility for ‘triangulation’, a legal means to avoid registration for VAT with every border crossing of an unfinished product. Businesses with intricate supply chains, such as the pharmaceutical and the automotive industries, should aim to reduce the number of times parts and products are crossing the border.
There are also changes for businesses in the digital and e-commerce sectors. A British business will no longer be able to use the EU’s system to pay and declare VAT from their own home via the so-called ‘VATMOSS’ (VAT Mini One Stop Shop) for sales to European clients. For example, a business selling software to the European market will have to register for VAT in the EU. US digital giants often use VATMOSS via the UK to handle VAT on their pan-European sales. To continue to do so they will have to register in one of the 27 remaining EU countries.
UK e-commerce companies can no longer benefit from VAT-exemptions for online business-to-consumer sales. For example, a British firm selling clothes online to the Netherlands pays no VAT until its sales reach €100,000, the Dutch distance selling threshold. Instead, it will have to pay and register for VAT as of its first sale. Losing these VAT-exemptions in the EU will particularly impact small firms, who are often not VAT registered, sell at lower quantities and values, and could be deterred from exporting to the EU.
Brexit is unprecedented and caution is due when considering its impacts. If the Government will indeed cut its VAT ties with the EU, intended or not, there will undoubtedly be effects of unwinding the EU rules that now underpin the UK VAT Act. However, the EU VAT regime is also in flux and some of the changes might unexpectedly even out.
Upcoming Christmas Celebratory Events
BAB London Annual Christmas Luncheon

Organised by BAB London

5th December 2017, The Dorchester (London)
BABC Houston Annual Christmas Curry and a Pint

Organised by BABC Houston

6th December 2017, Nirvana Restaurant (Houston)
BABC New England Annual Christmas extravaganza! 31st traditional holiday luncheon

Organised by BABC New England

1st December 2017, Harvard Club of Boston (Boston)
BABC Miami Christmas Lunch

Organised by BABC Miami

15th December 2017, Crandon Golf Club on Key Biscayne (Miami)
BABC Philadelphia Signature Annual Holiday Luncheon

Organised by BABC Philadelphia

7th December 2017, The Ritz Carlton (Philadelphia)

BAB New York Annual Christmas Luncheon: "A Curious Christmas"

Organised by BAB New York

8th December 2017, The Pierre (New York)
BCCTC Toronto Inaugrual Christmas Ball

Organised by BCCTC Toronto

8th December 2017, Radisson Admiral Hotel (Toronto)
BABC Georgia Annual Christmas Luncheon

Organised by BABC Georgia

8th December 2017, City Club of Buckhead (Atlanta)
BABC Seattle Christmas Luncheon

Organised by BABC Seattle

8th December 2017, Fairmont Olympic Hotel (Seattle)
BABC Los Angeles 58th Annual Christmas Luncheon

Organised by BABC Los Angeles

8th December 2017, Fairmont Miramar Hotel (Santa Monica, LA)
BABA 21st Annual Gala Christmas Luncheon with Guest of Honor Sir Kim Darroch, KCMG H.M. Ambassador to the US

Organised by BABA Washington

15th December 2017, Fairmont Hotel Washington (Washington DC)
Business Opportunities
Department for International Trade North America Export Portal
The Department for International Trade has shared its North America Export Portal, an interactive online portal to connect UK companies looking to export with an advisor depending on the specifics of their business project.
US Commercial Service
The US Commercial Service is the trade arm of the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. Their trade professionals in more than 100 US cities and 75 countries are available to help US companies get started in exporting and can help UK companies establish a presence in the US.

Learn more about BABC
If you are  interested in joining BABC at one of our 22 chapters spanning the UK and North America, please get in touch with your local chapter. More information can be found at www.babc.org 

To stay up to date on Brexit, Trade and other issues relevant to the transatlantic business community, follow us on Twitter @BABPolicy and @BabcTrade and join our LinkedIn Group Global Trade and Investment .