Businesses in the South West increasingly looking to expand their export operations in the US as Brexit uncertainty continues at home. HMRC’s regional trade statistics show that exports of goods to the US increased by more than £415m in the South West during 2018 compared to the previous year, as businesses looked to step-up exports beyond the EU.
Dave Ford, Regional Director for Global Trade and Receivables Finance for HSBC UK in the South West, said: “The US has for many years been the largest national export market for British goods and services. In the South West, it was the most valuable trade corridor during 2018 with £3.765bn worth of goods exported from our businesses across the Atlantic. Driving this activity was exports of machinery and transport equipment which was worth £2.268bn to the region.
“In recent times the US economy has also delivered consistently faster growth than its peer group of major advanced economies and businesses in the South West have been taking advantage of the close ties between the UK and the US.”
Sharing similar business cultures and having a common language means that the US continues to be an attractive destination for businesses in the region. However, there are a number of challenges that businesses looking to export to the US for the first time may face.
Dave continues: “Doing business in the US does carry some health warnings, accessing a market of more than 320 million people across 50 states can be daunting. While laws on copyright and patents are made entirely at the national level, the laws that relate to consumer protection, public liability and anti-competitive practices are made at both federal and state level. The result is that in many sectors the United States can’t be treated as a single market.
“Despite these challenges, the US remains a huge prize for British businesses and with operations on both sides of the Atlantic, HSBC is ideally placed to support those companies looking to take the first-step into exporting as well as businesses looking to increase their existing international trade activity.”