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Welcome to the May BABN Policy and Trade Update.
Long expected, President Biden visited Belfast and Dublin last month to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The President met with PM Rishi Sunak to discuss the Windsor Framework, expressing his optimism for the framework's implementation. A date for Sunak’s visit to Washington in June has not been confirmed. Meanwhile, President Biden announced his re-election bid.
Coinciding with the UK signing its fourth MoU with individual US states, BAB released a report with four key recommendation areas to ensure the state-based commitments deliver lasting impact: Taking Trade Local: The Business Case for State-Level Trade and Investment Cooperation.
Lastly, BAB launched its annual Trade & Investment Guide – the most comprehensive product of its kind in the market - providing practical advice on all issues companies must consider when expanding: Finding Your Way
See below for a breakdown of policy and trade headlines and our published works.

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President Biden's Visit to Belfast
April 11 - 12 2023

Fill me in: US President Joe Biden visited Northern Ireland to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Who did he meet: The President was greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with whom he met briefly to discuss their shared commitment to upholding the Good Friday Agreement to implementing the Windsor Framework. The President continued on to the Republic of Ireland for meetings with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President Michael D. Higgins and - afterwards - a holiday in a place he described as "home."
Why it matters: The visit came at a crucial moment for Northern Ireland, which remains without a devolved government and caught in-between the divergence of Westminster and Brussels.
Policy Updates
BAB White Paper: Taking Trade Local
 18 April 2023

Last month, BAB published its latest white paper Taking Trade Local: The Business Case for State-Level Trade and Investment Cooperation. outlining recommendations for the UK's engagement with different states across the US.
With the fourth MoU being signed between the UK and Oklahoma the same day, this paper comes at a pivotal moment, supporting the strategic approach whilst identifying measurable outcomes to make it successful in the long term..
Key recommendations:
·   Strategy - The UK government should set out a strategic approach for its engagement with US states. This includes clearly articulating the goals, scope and deliverables of the MoU campaign.
·   Scope - Both governments should clearly communicate with business and stakeholders what these agreements will include or accomplish. A targeted, sector or issue-based approach is most effective to maximise resources and deliver the greatest benefit for the state and UK businesses.
·   Utilisation - Ensuring these agreements continue to provide real benefits for businesses on the ground.
·   Building a coalition of support - The UK government should pursue partnerships with existing events and local organisations to support this initiative and profile of MoUs.
·   Matching resources with scope and ambition - Priority should be given to states that offer the most.
The UK government’s state-level engagement makes good business sense. While these MoUs foster further trade and investment opportunities at a local level, our hope is that their success can help put trade talks at a federal level back on the agenda.

Read the paper here.
Coordinated Russia Sanctions
12 April 2023

What you need to know: The US and UK coordinated sanctions targeting Russian oligarchs with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, reinforcing existing penalties on individuals close to the Russian regime and using targeted sanctions to prevent the country from importing critical technologies that could be used in Ukraine. The US Treasury also announced sanctions on the International Investment Bank, a Hungary-based bank controlled by Russian actors.
Background info: The decisions came shortly after American and British officials met on the side-lines of the World Bank and IMF meetings earlier this month, during which Russia was a key focus. 
Policy Minister in Washington
13 April 2023

The latest: Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston visited Washington to deepen UK-US trade ties to boost jobs, investment and exports across the Atlantic.
Tell me more: The visit coincided with the signing of the fourth MoU with Oklahoma, and the welcoming of a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between UK and US architect regulators. 

DeSantis embarks on International Trade Mission
24 April 2023

What: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis began an international trade mission on April 24th. The governor is leading a Florida delegation to Israel, Japan, South Korea, and the UK to meet with government and business leafer.
Why: The trips focus is on building upon Florida's current economic relatinships with each country. Additional weight is on the trip due to his expected presidential campaign launch this summer.
Who he is meeting: He met with PM Kishida in Japan, PM Han-Duck-soo in South Korea, and PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. Upon arrival in the UK he met with Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. 
Trade Updates
2022-23 Trade and Investment Guide
April 26 2023

Overview: The 2023 BAB Trade & Investment Guide on US investment into the UK launched this month.
What is it: The Trade & Investment Guide is an annual publication, offering a point of reference for all those who want to make the step across the Atlantic, as well as supporting the growth of those who have already done so. From guidance on the leading industries and growth regions in each country, to practical advice on issues you need to consider as a growing business, these publications are a must-read for any company with transatlantic ambitions.
Finding Your Way is produced by BritishAmerican Business (BAB) in partnership with leading member companies and regional partners. It is endorsed by both the U.S. and UK governments, associations and networks.
Extra information: BAB is pleased to offer the most comprehensive transatlantic trade guide to doing business in the UK. With features from UK Minister for Investment, Lord Johnson, and US Commerce Under Secretary, Marisa Lago, the guide is a crucial resource for US companies looking to explore the exciting opportunities the UK has to offer across all corners of the nations. 

Discover more: Read the newly launched trade guide here and our associated press release here.

Sunak Attends Linkedin Live
April 24 2023

What to know: PM Sunak participated in a live Q&A session as part of a new Business Connect program. Over 200 prominent CEOs and business figures, and 20 Ministers in the UK joined the event. Representatives from key growth sectors including tech, life sciences, and advances manufacturing gathered in London for the first Business Connect event.
Extra info: It was an opportunity to engage with the PM as part of an effort to reconnect with business and put regrowth at the top of the agenda.
Main goals: Removing business barriers; Set exports to £1trillion by 2030 by signing trade deals like CPTPP; Make the UK the top destination in Europe; Attract industries of the future to set up in the UK; Stand against protectionism.
DBT United Kingdom Conformity Assessment Roundtable Series
April - May 2023

What: DBT are holding a series of roundtables with stakeholders from a wide range of sectors in April and May across London Edinburgh, and Manchester. They will help the department to understand how to make the UK's approach to product marking as easy as possible for industry whilst ensuring we continue to protect consumers.
Why: Following Brexit, the UK introduced the UKCA marking as a way of demonstrating products comply with UK product regulations. Further flexibility was provided to industry on product marketing requirements in product sectors managed by DBT by extending recognition of the CE marking and bringing a range of easements into force, making it easier to meet UKCA requirements.
Get involved: To be involved in the stakeholder process for UKCA requirements, sign up for an Industry Roundtable here.

Thank you for reading this month's Policy and Trade Update. If you have any feedback or comments please contact us.

BAB participates in and offers policy and trade support to the BritishAmerican Business Network, a group of over 20 independent trade organisations across North America and the UK. If you would like to learn more about the network and its activities, please visit our website.

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