The United States and Canada combined has an economy almost ten times the size of the UK - a gross domestic product (GDP) of $21.1 trillion, making it substantially larger market than the post-Brexit EU 27 at $17.1 trillion or China’s $14.1 trillion.
Canada’s $1.8 trillion GDP is 69 per cent of the UK’s $2.6 trillion, even though it has a population of 37 million - 54% of the UK’s. Its productivity is thus 27% higher than the UK’s.
The US is home to vast and varied landscapes with abundant natural resources including petroleum and natural gas and it also benefits from the most developed, liquid, flexible, and efficient financial markets in the world.
The country is also a world leader in research and development and consistently ranked among the best markets internationally for its overall competitiveness and ease of doing business.
Though famed for its entrepreneurial, ‘can-do’ mentality, the US can be surprisingly cautious, conservative and old-fashioned, making it a place of extremes. Many UK businesses from widely differing market sectors are astonished to discover that they are more competitive in the US than their US counterparts. However, all sorts of pitfalls await UK businesses who are naive and unprepared. Business customs and practices in the US are alien to many UK companies, and the 50 states operate like separate countries in many ways, with their own distinct rules and regulations.
Currently, more than 34,000 UK companies export to the US, which represents about £100bn annually (19 per cent) of the value of UK exports, compared the EU which takes 44 per cent.
After the EU, the US is the No 2 most important trading partner for almost all UK regions and nations. More than a million US jobs are supported by UK-owned companies operating in the US and every US state has jobs connected to investment from a UK company. Collectively, UK companies invest more in the US than in any other country and the UK in total is the largest foreign direct investor in the US. US citizens, whose thinking can be insular, are generally oblivious to the fact that many household name US brands and companies are owned by UK companies or investors.
Meanwhile, Canada, also has a ‘business-friendly’ environment built around many world class cities as well as the most highly educated workforce amongst Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
Within the G7, the world’s seven largest advanced economies, Canada comes top for fewest days to establish a new business, lowest total effective taxes, good living conditions and quality of life, and being the most reputable country.
Resolve Gets Results™ has a network of partners across the US and Canada and a US sister company, Whitehall Advisory Group, founded in 2006 by Michael Teden OBE, British Honorary Consul to North Carolina, who also founded the British American Business Council in North Carolina (BABC NC) in 1992 and remains its President. Michael was originally in insurance and moved to the US in 1979. The Executive Director of BABC NC, Sarah Peeler, is also from the UK and works closely alongside Michael to support the Resolve team and its partners and clients from the UK. Whilst the Carolinas are not the correct US destination for all UK companies, they are a good base for many. The beautiful Queen City of Charlotte, the largest city on the East Coast between Washington DC and Atlanta, is the No 2 banking and financial services centre in the US, the No 1 destination for millennials, the 3rd strongest real estate market, and has the 6th busiest airport in the world.
Contact the Chamber if you need US market entry advice.