Key U.S./UK Trade and Investment Areas Highlighted in BABC 2018 Policy Agenda
Seattle, Wash., March 12, 2018 – The Pacific Northwest chapter of British-American Business Connections (BABC-PNW) today shared a new policy agenda, Strength and Opportunity in a Time of Change, released by parent organization British-American Business Council (BABC), the largest transatlantic business network across North America and UK.
The development of the Policy Agenda was led by BABC-PNW’s sister chapter, BritishAmerican Business, and outlines broad, horizontal issues that need to be addressed by policy makers as a means of protecting and enhancing trade and investment between the USA and the UK.
The Policy Agenda underlines the importance of trade and investment between the US and UK, arguably the most successful trading partners in all of history; goods and services worth billions are traded across the Atlantic every month; transatlantic companies generate growth, foster innovation, and most importantly, create jobs and security for many British and American workers and their families. The Policy Agenda also outlines opportunities and challenges that will strengthen trade and investment between the two nations, particularly in the following key areas:
Labour mobility: Both the UK and the US find themselves at a crossroad on this important topic. Both governments have the challenging task to craft a policy solution that balances public concern over immigration with the economic reality that immigrants play a significant part in the success of numerous sectors of our economies. BABC welcomes and supports efforts to build upon initiatives such as the recently agreed US-UK Science Agreement, that makes it easier for UK and US scientists to work in both countries, proving how international collaboration around immigration in the context of innovation and growth can work;
Financial Services: BABC calls on the UK Government to continue efforts with the European Commission towards a new arrangement between the UK and EU that ensures that UK-based firms have continued access to EU-based clients through new mechanisms for regulatory and supervisory cooperation. In the US, BABC supports efforts by the Trump Administration to review the financial services regulatory framework, with the view to remove unnecessary barriers to growth. We caution, however, against any measure that creates additional complexity, unnecessary risk, and increased international regulatory inconsistency.
Infrastructure: The UK has demonstrated success in building its digital infrastructure; However, the continued delay of major infrastructure projects, such as a third runway at Heathrow Airport, is setting back confidence in the UK’s ability to deliver. In the US, a comprehensive infrastructure program is long overdue. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that $4.6 trillion is needed to improve highways, bridges, transit systems and waterworks, and to build out the nation’s power grid and broadband networks. BABC welcomes the Trump Administration’s objective to make infrastructure a key priority. It is now critical that the Administration works with Congress and follows through with visible actions;
Cyber and data security: A more vibrant and digital transatlantic economy will depend on even greater flows of digital information. For policy makers, the challenge remains putting in place frameworks and legislation that balance concerns about privacy and keeping the internet ‘free’, while not impeding the digital economy that has come to define 21st century commerce;
“The key areas highlighted in this year’s Policy Agenda are issues of large importance to our member companies and the greater international business community across the Pacific Northwest,” said Gareth Wade, Chairman of the Pacific Northwest chapter of British-American Business Connections. “Our BABC CEO, Duncan Edwards aptly notes that while vertical trade associations can take a deeper dive into these industry challenges, BABC and its regional chapters, including BABC-PNW, can continue to be the voice to highlight these broad horizontal issues that have the power to affect the extraordinarily successful U.S./UK commercial relationships, either positively or negatively, in the years ahead.”
BABC and BAB will continue to discuss the UK’s future trade relationship with the EU and the potential for a UK-U.S. free trade agreement and covering questions around labour mobility, infrastructure investment, policy on data and cyber security, tax and more. Pacific Northwest business professionals and companies can access the Policy Agenda, policy news and updates and connect with the greater BABC network of chapters through its website at www.babcpnw.org.
About British American Business Connections
The Pacific Northwest chapter of British-American Business Connections (BABC-PNW) fosters a robust and collaborative business network. The chapter has been successfully connecting people, companies and organizations engaged in business, trade and transatlantic interests for more than 20 years. As a premiere forum for British and American companies and professionals, BABC-PNW fosters relationships, helps build networks and engages a regional and international community exchange. BABC-PNW is part of the global network of BABC, the largest transatlantic business network, with 22 chapters and 2,000-member companies, including many of the worlds largest multinationals, based in major business centers throughout North America and the UK. www.babcpnw.org
About the British-American Business Council
The British-American Business Council (BABC) is the largest transatlantic business network, with 22 chapters and over 2,000 member companies based in major business Centers throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Its membership includes many of the world’s largest multinationals, as well as hundreds of middle market and smaller companies.