The UK’s trading future, post-Brexit, is undecided. But just as some things will change, other opportunities will arise. When it comes to trading with the USA independently, are we really going to be at the back of the queue, or in a more favourable position?
The fact is that the USA is the world’s largest economy, so why wouldn’t exporters want to capitalise on it? Here are some things to consider regarding exporting to the USA.
For What it’s Worth
US exports are worth some £3bn a month to the UK economy, with around 15% of our annual exports going to North America, making it the UK’s top export partner.
The range of goods exported to the USA is wide, from machinery to manufactured goods, food and beverages. As with anywhere, the key is in understanding the market and how your product or service fits into it.
There are local issues to consider, such as the complex US tax system, and shipping costs. Things like price points are crucial and UK exporters should therefore take import duty into account. US customs value is based on the net value of the goods, or on the net value of the shipment.
The UK government’s advice points out that given the sheer size of the USA there are vast regional variations between states and the markets within them, along with stiff competition.
Litigation is commonplace and customer service expectations are high. This is against a background of significant cultural differences. We are indeed separated by more than a common language.
If you are marketing an innovative product, you need to protect yourself against copycat designs. The best thing to do is properly research intellectual property rights and the whole business of licensing your idea in the US.
Regardless, research is crucial, against a background of a volatile world economy, and entering a market to which you may be unfamiliar.
The going can be tough, but the rewards of exporting to the USA are considerable. It is the world centre for innovation and it is the world’s largest private sector, with minimal language barriers for UK exporters.
You could also be accessing global supply chains through the US, opening up export opportunities to other overseas markets.
There is enormous export potential in the USA. If it is something you’re interested in but not sure where to start, seek expert advice.