Shifting focus to the Americas on Independence Day

As the world’s second largest importer and third largest exporter, the USA is a powerhouse of international trade opportunities.

Independence Day

4th July 1776. The day the United States of America declared its independence from Great Britain. Each year, our friends across the pond celebrate their independence with parades, fireworks and backyard barbeques and no expense is spared as these international trade statistics reflect:

  • $3.8 million – the value of US imports of American flags in 2012, with the majority imported from China
  • $614,115 – the value of US flags exported in 2012, with Mexico being the leading customer
  • $227.3 million – the value of US imports of fireworks in 2012, with the majority imported from China
  • $11.7 million – the value of fireworks exported from the US, with Israel being the leading customer


With a growing population of over 316 million, the USA presents itself as a land of golden opportunity for UK exporters, and is currently Britain’s largest single export market. As history shows, the UK and the USA have always shared a deep connection and are bound together by a shared past and a common language, legal system and culture.

The US-UK investment relationship is the largest in the world with a cumulative bilateral stock in direct investment valued at more than $990 billion in 2011, and over two million jobs, approximately one million in each country, have been created over the years to manage and drive this investment.

Following the recent G8 summit in Northern Ireland, the two countries’ relationship is set to accelerate after talks surrounding a groundbreaking trade and investment partnership between the United States and the European Union. With the US and the EU accounting for almost half of global GDP and a third of world trade, William Hague said it would be ‘the biggest bilateral trade deal in history.’

Thinking of importing from the US? You’re in good company. According to a 2013 BBC World Service Poll, 74% of Americans view the United Kingdom positively and with few trade barriers, the United Kingdom is the entry market into the European Union for more than 41,000 U.S. exporters.

So what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you accelerated your business with the USA? 

To get you started, here are some key tips on trading with the USA:

  • Know the market. It is important to undertake comprehensive due diligence, research the market and industry and find out who your competitors are.
  •  Rather than approaching the USA as one market, segment it by industry and geography. Different cities such as San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Miami, Denver and Las Vegas all have their own unique market profile.
  • Americans like facts not feelings, so be prepared to provide specific information, including pricing. Arrange your stats in simple formats and keep your report as short and to the point as possible.
  • New ideas are likely to get more pull in America, so don’t dismiss any creative business ideas.
  • As the list of priorities goes, the first and foremost objective of Americans is putting the contract together, signing the deal and then ‘getting to know you’, so don’t take their overly formal behaviour personally. 

Find more guidance on trading with the US from the following:

UKTI: working with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets.

British Chambers of Commerce: providing support and guidance to UK businesses.

GOV.UK: the new central site from the government, combining Directgov and Business link, providing a simpler and faster way to locate free information and advice about importing and exporting.

Open to Export: a community driven service for small and medium sized businesses, looking for help and support in exporting from the UK.

Sources: CCG_Latest_eg_gb_062586.pdf


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