US and UK – Working Together for Growth and Trade.

Aerial view cargo ship terminal, Unloading crane of cargo ship terminal, Aerial view industrial port with containers and container ship.

Global EMS were on the Expert Panel at the IoD (Institute of Directors) event in London, with the US Government (Department of Commerce). Read about the highlights and insights below on how bilateral trade can benefit companies.

A Special Relationship for Growth

The relationship between the US and UK has been described as a special one since 1940. Both countries have much commonality and benefit from trading together.

Peter Holland (CEO Global EMS) was pleased to take part as a panelist on the Institute of Directors (IoD), UK and US Trade event at the IoD HQ in London, UK (May 2022) 

The speaker from the US Department of Commerce gave fascinating insights into how the UK and US can work together and grow.  It was an interesting discussion centered around the opportunities and relationship of the UK and US.

There were practical tips given for setting up and trading in the US. The level of support available from the US federal government, local government, and the UK’s Department of International Trade was described as a valuable resource to utilise. This was endorsed by members of the audience and panel. Practical support is available from both websites and knowledgeable contacts at the various Government departments to help reach specific local markets.

The US continues to provide significant investment and many growth areas (from Fintech to Manufacturing) it can offer the UK and vice versa. Innovation is evident on both sides of the pond and across a variety of industries.

Points raised during the lively discussions included

  • The US is the UK’s largest trading partner, worth over £200 bn per year
  • The size of the US market makes it a springboard for expansion globally
  • Some of the challenges of expanding into the US were state dependent regulations. These require local knowledge and global understanding to maximise the opportunities and minimize risks.
  • The role of the DIT and US Department of Commerce was explained in supporting companies and for research into local markets. An excellent and often underutilised resource.
  • Business Services were identified as an area for further development in the US that the UK can contribute to
  • Timezones of global clients are well supported through operations in the UK, US and APAC
  • It was clear that collaboration between the UK and US is of mutual benefit and free trade to be supported and encouraged
  • Subtle differences exist between the two great nations in culture and approach
  • Similarities in language, shared history, military support and security. All these elements help contribute to a special relationship that has stood the test of time.

In addition to the above, the proximity to neighbouring markets for growth including South America, Canada and EMEA make it prudent to trade in both countries.

Trade - More than Metal, Jeans, Whisky and Motorcycles; Compliant Payroll and the Panel.

Discussions were held in Spring with the  Secretary of State for International Trade for the UK, Anne-Marie Trevelyan. US Tariffs on UK Metal exports to the US have been eased and reciprocally by the UK on US imports i.e. jeans, whisky and motorcycles. Further dialogue is planned to address issues like trade and investment involving small businesses, the digital economy, durable supply chains, protecting labour rights and the environment.

The US is the UK’s biggest trading partner and most Multinational companies will have a presence in both.  No matter what an organisation does and where, a commonality is the requirement to pay its people and taxes compliantly where they are working (and other countries as required).  Global EMS enable companies to hit the ground running as they expand Internationally with compliant payroll. Whilst enhancing their existing operations, systems and supporting growth.

During the panel session, our CEO was able to reference his experience over 40 years; helping all types of company grow into the markets of their choice in the US and Globally. Global EMS business support services provide a single managed service to pay employees compliantly and quickly. We connect all the right data and systems to facilitate this using our innovative cloud-based Fintech apps.

Business Services and Global Payroll

Business Services in the US were identified as a growth area during the discussions. As a company this is something we have also recognised and continue to provide. Much of our experience and growth over the years has centred on providing business services to US corporates.

We have helped clients in a number of industries realize their growth plans with the appropriate level of support.

These include clients in:

  • Manufacturing
  • Banking
  • Fintech
  • Engineering
  • Energy
  • Service Companies
  • IT
  • Research
  • NGO’s and Charities

Impact of Recent Trade Talks and Politics

There is still an appetite for a Trade Deal between the UK and US at the time of writing. Although some hesitancy has arisen recently. Statements over affects on the Northern Ireland Protocol and Good Friday Agreement are being looked at by all parties.

The importance of maintaining peace and stability in Northern Ireland has been stated as a priority by both the US and the UK.  How that is achieved and the complexities of negotiations, only time will tell.

Boris Johnson has revealed plans to alter the NI Protocol with the EU agreed in the post-Brexit deal.  The conflicting and passionate beliefs around this topic will make this highly challenging. Hopefully common sense, humanity and impact with prevail over egos and political point scoring.

Trade deals and the lack of can have wider implications with neighbouring countries.  Looking at the big picture will require weighing up the impact on not only pounds and dollars but borders, euros, politics, people and peace.  Done well, it is possible to achieve a deal that enables all this. It may take small concessions on all sides for the greater good, but the benefits would quickly be realised.

Indiana Takes the First Step - The leap of Faith

The UK has since signed its first trade deal with a US state, The State of Indiana. The value of goods exported from the UK is  $1.4bn. It’s hard to take the first step, but now the path has been shown, more states can follow.

‘Last week, the UK signed its first trade agreement with an individual US state – a Trade and Economic Development Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UK and the US state of Indiana. The MoU provides a framework to remove barriers to trade and investment between the two parties’  (Indiana The State of Play. 1st June 2022 )

UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement

From the 14th June 2022 the new UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement will come into effect.

This will remove red tape that can impede trade and empower organisations with digital alternatives to cumbersome paperwork e.g. e-contracts.  ‘It will also lock-in trusted cross-border data flows, the foundation for today’s modern global digital economy, enabling businesses to trade more easily, cheaply, and quickly.’

Global EMS has an office in Singapore and is currently enjoying the benefits of this convenient location worldwide and opportunities for business growth and innovation.

Peter Holland, CEO Global EMS says ‘Singapore has enabled our UK founded business, in combination with our American office and worldwide partners to handle all time zones and flourish. We deliver services required for international business anywhere in the world and welcome the new agreement with Singapore to further this.’

UK Whisky and Steelmakers Now Free to Export to the US

Being able to freely export whisky and steel to the US will give a boost to the UK. It will also enable more choice in the market.

-US tariff resolution creates export opportunities for steelmakers and whisky makers alike

From (the 1st June 2022), UK steel and aluminium exporters can get back to exporting to our largest trading partner. 

From: Department for International Trade and The Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP. Published 1 June 2022

Global Payroll Technology and Services Enable Growth and Data Management

Implementing policies and systems between various companies can be an uphill struggle. The complexity of internal politics, cross cultural differences and financial priorities for large companies has similarities to trade deals.

One of the many challenges companies face when expanding Internationally is getting their payroll compliant and various data sources and systems connected, globally. When you analyse the data needed Globally and Locally it gives a valuable insight to a country, culture and values. This is where good communication and transparency also comes into play. Our system helps support that with full auditability and security segmentation. The human touch is provided by our skilled team of managers who understand the differences, behaviour and expectations of cultures globally and how to get the best outcomes.

In regard to the need for Business Services in the US, as a UK based global service company we see this pattern with our US clients and partners worldwide. We support our clients achieve this and set up quickly in country to support their expansion worldwide.

Most corporate systems hold the global data and do not have the full local data required to run payroll globally across numerous regions, states and countries. Add third country nationals, expats and different systems and sources in the mix and it can get quite complicated! We standardise, integrate, automate and deliver the right information to process payroll, and provide the technology to do this everywhere. Global EMS manage all the data and processes required to deliver Global Payroll anywhere in the world.

Conclusion – Growth Together

Organisations benefit from being in both the US and UK. The reasons why are varied, elaborated on above and include the size of the market.  

Trade agreements between countries require careful negotiation, great diplomacy and cultural understanding. There can be unintended consequences when neglected or favouring one parties needs only.  As with any contract, getting the spirit and letter right is important for best intentions to be demonstrated. Handled with respect for both a nation and its neighbours values, and interests, Trade Agreements are a vehicle for mutual success.

We were pleased to be invited to contribute to this event discussing growth opportunities in the US and a future trade deal between the UK and US.  Global EMS would be happy to support your organisations as they expand into the US, UK and worldwide.

The government links below are valuable resources to draw on as required. 

Useful Links and References