Volume III | April 20 2020
Since 1989 SACC-DC has offered a platform for developing U.S. – Swedish lucrative commercial ventures and professional opportunities through our network and business and social events. The SACC-DC Newsletter will help you stay on top of what’s happening in the Swedish-American business community and find the perfect opportunity to create new business connections in the greater Washington D.C. area and Mid-Atlantic region.
From the Executive Director
Dear Friends,

We hope that everybody is staying safe, finding ways to be productive and to be ready to resume full-on in the new normal post-COVID-19.

In anticipation of a pent-up demand for contact, we have a Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Fall filled with exciting events and programs; in the meantime take advantage of our April 30 webinar with famed author and speaker Alan Gregerman on the topic of staying relevant and befriending in times of social distancing. 
If you would like to take the opportunity to provide your expertise on a topic or if there is a particular topic that you would like to learn more about, please let us know and we will look into webinar options for such topics!

Stay well.

- Karin Hammar, Executive Director of SACC-DC

PS SACC-DC has postponed events slated for April and May and will keep you posted on subsequent events pending guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies. Our office is operating remotely – please contact us if you think we can be of assistance.
Member Spotlight

Welcome our new member - Motivf!

New SACC-DC member Motivf is not your average consulting firm. Motivf is not centered around a specific or firm business model, but rather the idea that trust and cultural insight are fundamental to business differentiation and reaching their customers. Motivf’s goal is to offer flexible, human-centered solutions to clients sprung from the insight that ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions are a thing of the past and associated with distrust in big business. Managing Director and founder Jaymes Cloninger likens the Motivf concept to jazz music, noting that Motivf works more improvisational than a pre-conceived orchestra. Trust is front and center at Motivf and client relations sometimes start as free services for new clients. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Motivf is offering first-time clients free project sprints to get ahead with remote project management, facilitation, coaching as well as market research and even remote business development. The company has extensive experience in coordinating a global team working remotely and as such is in a unique position to support businesses disrupted by social distancing.

“Motivf is made up of diverse skill sets that bring their unique perspectives to design and implement 21st century solutions for unprecedented challenges that are new, global, and require comfort with uncertainty."
- Jaymes Cloninger, Managing Director and Founder of Motivf
“Motivfers” are spread around the globe, offering unique local knowledge of culture, demography, and behaviors that help organizations adapt operations to local circumstances and tweak messaging to fit the context; “the process of translation is at the heart of most projects a firm undertakes”, says Cloninger. This global reach is also reflected in a company culture empowering employees to have their own voice and say in throughout the phases of a project, from client engagement to execution via mid-term calibration.

The reach of the SACC network with 20 regional chapters and a varied long-standing membership circle in a vibrant Swedish-American business community in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area were key in Motivf’s decision to join SACC-DC. According to Cloninger, the opportunity to connect with like-minded organizations and build bridges to strong brands with Swedish connection is a unique offering of SACC-DC.

Pillsbury named Regulatory Law Firm of the Year by Women in Compliance 2020

SACC-DC member Pillsbury has received the award Regulatory Law Firm of the Year by Women in Compliance in recognition of their outstanding work on initiatives, innovations and cultures that drive a commitment to compliance within their organizations headed by standout women leaders as well as high-performing teams led by or heavily composed of women. The Women in Compliance Awards recognize and celebrate the achievements of female compliance professionals in industries around the world.

We are especially proud that SACC-DC Chair of the Board Nancy Fischer was a finalist in the Compliance Lawyer of the Year category and a key part of the team who received the Regulatory Law Firm of the Year award.

“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Fischer. “The women in the compliance and regulatory sectors provide outstanding legal advice and are a significant asset to the firm’s overall success.”
Nancy Fischer - International Trade and Global Security Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP & SACC-DC Chairperson
Renew your individual membership for 2020 today!

SACC DC organizes many events throughout the year to give our members access to professional networking. Our annual flagship business events includes SACC Summit, the Young Professionals program and other corporate events, seminars and workshops. We also tailor trade missions for Swedish companies interested in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.

Whether an individual with a keen interest in or connection with Sweden living in D.C. or a company looking to establish new relationships, we can help you reach your next goal.
Upcoming Events

As many of us are working from home and practicing social distancing, the idea of networking with strangers may seem foreign. Outside of Zooming with colleagues and meeting household members the COVID-19 crisis has created many barriers to social interaction. But networking might be more important now than before.

Alan Gregerman , author of The Necessity of Strangers , is joining SACC-DC for a Webinar and Q&A to discuss why meeting strangers is an opportunity for unlocking your potential. He will give insights into how you can work to broaden your network whilst practicing social distancing and why it might be even more important now than before.

Join us for this first SACC-DC Webinar on April 30, 5:00 PM (EDT)!

October 15

It is time to mark down the date for one of SACC-DC's most anticipated annual events, the 32nd SACC-DC Open. The classic tournament will be played at Westfields Golf Club offering an excellent opportunity for meeting new people and have a pleasant day on the beautiful golf course. Companies, members and sponsors will also have the opportunity to mingle afterwards at the House of Sweden dinner reception, even if you are not an avid golfer!

More information will be made available soon, please keep an eye out for sponsorship and player offers!
SAVE THE DATE: Crayfish Celebration
September 10

Please join us at House of Sweden in Georgetown Harbor for a traditional Swedish "Kräftskiva" business casual networking event! As dictated by Swedish custom, the evening will offer fun and engaging socialization as well as tables filled with the best crayfish with condiments to be found on the East Coast.

Government's extraordinary powers comes into effect Saturday, extends entry ban until May 15

The Swedish parliament approved an extraordinary bill to expand the government’s powers to impose measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak without requiring prior approval from the legislature. The new executive powers entered into force on Sunday. The government also extended the temporary entry ban until May 15. As the outbreak continues to claim lives, topping 1500 on Monday, officials maintain that the controversial strategy is working. The country’s refusal to impose mandatory stay-at-home orders have become a polarizing issue online, as tends to be the case for Swedish policy-making during crises. 

Swedish government presents spring budget with billions in crisis spending

On Thursday the Swedish government revealed its spring budget including more than $10 billion for targeted measures to combat the economic fallout from the pandemic. It also raised the proposed annual cap on government expenditures by $35 billion anticipating the need for more interventions to meet healthcare needs and unemployment support. For details on the spring budget, the Swedish government has compiled a handy 5-minute guide in English which details most of the additional measures to be taken. The financial markets minister Per Bolund said that recent figures provided support for the economic crisis response taken so far, but the Swedish Labor Board warned that unemployment would reach at least 8 percent in April, up from 7.6 percent in March.

More News

United States
Retail sales figures plummet by close to 9 percent in March, oil prices plummet and earnings reports are coming

After two weeks of generally good news out of Wall Street, market opening on Monday saw a steep fall as oil prices fell to its lowest level in over 30 years. The OPEC+ deal reached last week seems to have been too little too late, with concerns over storage and vanishing demand returning. Further turmoil might come as earnings reports start to come in, with airlines set to report huge losses (for example, American Airlines reported a $2.1 billion loss for Q1 2020). Reports from the retail sector identified a record-breaking 9 percent loss in sales in March alone.

$350 billion Paycheck Protection Program runs out of money, new deal may be close

The PPP, a key part of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March h as been depleted as small businesses rushed to gain access to critical loans of up to $10 million for covering salary expenses. An effort to replenish the program was held up last week as congressional Democrats and Republicans clashed over additions to the bill of funding for states and local hospitals. But after another grim unemployment claims report adding another 5.2 million unemployed for a total of 22 million new claims in a little more than a month, momentum on the hill seems to have picked up again. A vote is likely to take place this week on a package including $300 billion for the PPP, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing amongst other things. However, it remains to be seen if this will be possible with lawmakers scattered across the country and with limited options for remote working due to attendance rules.

Protests against stay-at-home orders in several US states

During the weekend, several states, including Virginia and Michigan, have seen protesters in cars and on foot descending on state capitals (often not practicing social distancing, unlike Israeli protesters opposing a coalition deal between Likud and Blue & White). Most protests have targeted stay-at-home orders imposed by Democratic governors and recent reporting has found that some movements had far-right organizers. President Trump appeared to give his support to protesters even as he confirmed that it was the prerogative of states to impose such rules, tweeting that protesters should ‘liberate’ their states. Asked at his daily press briefing, the president explained that his support for the protesters stemmed from his assessment that the measures taken by (Democratic) governors were “too hard”. Facebook has taken to shutting down some groups and events on its site promoting the protests in response to requests from governors in the targeted states.

US to withhold nearly $500 million in funding from WHO while reviewing its efforts to halt the COVID-19 pandemic

As the President has increasingly turned up his criticism of China and the WHO over recent weeks denouncing the international organization as “China centric” and arguing that it “blew it” on COVID-19 containment, Trump ordered US payments to be halted in anticipation of an investigation into the WHO’s initial actions taken on COVID-19. The what and how of this investigation remains unclear. The move has been met with wide-spread condemnation from congressional Democrats, international allies and public figures as defunding a critical part of the international response to a pandemic may hinder coordination moving forward. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he regretted the decision by the US but hoped that the long-standing partnership would continue in the future.

More News
  • The oil inventory challenge - CSIS
  • Public health principles for a phased reopening during COVID-19: Guidence for governors - AEI
  • City leadership in sustainable development in the era of COVID-19 - Brookings
  • Here is how the US can win the post COVID-19 race to growth - Atlantic Council
Trump Administration defers tariff payment for 90 days
The White House announced a temporary relief on tariff payments for importers to combat economic fallout from the pandemic. But the relief does not apply to tariffs imposed as part of the trade war with China , nor other punitive tariffs imposed during the Trump presidency. Whilst industry leaders approved of the move , they called for more far-reaching measures.

Chinese economy shrinks for first time in decades
China, where the COVID-19 outbreak started back in December 2019 but has since according to most reports been brought under control, released economic numbers revealing its first economic contraction in decades of almost 7 percent in the first quarter of 2020. To add some perspective, it is the worst economic development since the year Chairman Mao died, 1976. A late revision of the COVID-19 death toll in the country raised the number of reported fatalities from the virus by 50 percent.

South Korean election amidst COVID-19 pandemic delivers win for President Moon
South Korea was one of the first countries outside of China to be hit hard by the pandemic earlier this year. But a strategy of massive testing and contact tracing seems to have been successful as the number of new cases and COVID-19 related fatalities has remained low in recent weeks. It carried out legislative elections last week and much of daily life has returned to a measure of normality. Election results delivered a historic victory for liberal president Moon who secured a 30-seat majority even as the conservative wing, the historically dominant force in South Korean politics since democratization, came together in coalition.

More News
  • What Coronavirus pandemic teaches us about fighting climate change - CFR
  • Quarantine is not one size fits all: The case of Mexico - CSIS
  • Coronavirus infections have peaked in much of the rich world - The Economist
  • Europe and the existential challenge of post-COVID recovery - Brookings
  • Blaming China is a dangerous distraction - Chatham House
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