BABC Trade and Investment Update March 2017

Posted April 26, 2017


BABC Releases Statement On Triggering Of Article 50

On 29 March, the UK invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal notification that begins the process of leaving the European Union. In response to this, BABC CEO Jeffries Briginshaw released the following statement:

"Our members want the UK to remain an attractive place to live, work and invest in. For that to work, it is imperative that the UK makes its relationship with the EU work for business and that Government delivers on its promise to offer the business community a clear and realistic time frame and pathway for an ambitious future relationship with the EU, post-Brexit, right from the start of the negotiations."  

In an aligned effort that showcases the strength and unity of transatlantic business, BABC chapters on both sides have shared this message. To read the statement in full, please click here.

BABC Releases Priorities For UK-US Trade: Moving Forward - The Future Of The UK-US Economic Relationship

On 24 March, BritishAmerican Business (BAB) and BABC laid out its priorities for the future of the UK-US economic relationship in the paper Moving Forward. 

On that basis, BABC CEO Jeffries Briginshaw appeared before the House of Commons Select Committee on International Trade to give evidence as part of an inquiry into the potential of a future US-UK Free Trade Agreement.

To read Moving Forward, please click here. Or, to watch Jeffries Briginshaw's select committee hearing, please click here.

Aberdeen/Standard Life Merger: Standing Still Is Not An Option

One question I have repeatedly been asked since we announced the proposed merger of Aberdeen and Standard Life is whether this is an offensive or defensive decision. It is a bit of both.

Any asset manager which denies it faces challenges has its head in the sand. The industry is polarising with boutiques at one end and large multi-service providers at the other. Those stuck in the middle are likely to be left behind due to industry headwinds.

Our proposed merger will put the combined business firmly into that bracket of major full service asset management providers with a truly global footprint both in terms of investment capabilities and client coverage.

But the cornerstone of the deal is the extent to which these two businesses complement each other. It was this factor more than any other which meant that the deal made sense to me and my colleagues on the Aberdeen Board.

Our businesses complement each other in two key respects: a minimal overlap in investment capabilities and significantly different distribution strengths resulting in a business which is highly diversified by asset class, clients and revenues. And the merger of both companies will create an asset manager that has five broad investment capabilities which have scale and financial strength – equities (both active and quant), fixed income, solutions, property and alternatives. It will have over 1,000 investment professionals operating out of 20 countries.

The asset management industry is facing an unprecedented period of disruption and consolidation. Standing still is not an option. Those who succeed will be those who embrace change and position themselves to meet the changing needs of clients.

This is an excerpt of a longer article written by Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management. To read more, please click here.

"The Future Leadership Skills, How To Globalize A Business In The 21st Century" With Nigel Travis, CEO Dunkin' Brands - Hosted by BABC New England

On 9 March, BABC New England hosted Nigel Travis, CEO of Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. as the latest keynote speaker in their CEO series. The topic of discussion was "How To Globalize A Business In The 21st Century," with Mr Travis' extensive experience in the food & drink industry, the talk provided a unique insight into how brands can not only 'future-proof' themselves, but ensure that they are taking full advantage of our globalized world.

British Expats: Tax, Financial, Retirement & Immigration Matters You Need To Know! - Hosted by BABC Northern California

On 29 March, BABC Northern California hosted an evening discussion on Immigration, Tax & Retirement Solutions for British Expats in the San Francisco Bay Area. The discussion navigated the immigration laws, taxation system and issues such as what one does with their UK pension when they move abroad to the US. Speaking on the panel at the event was Arnaud Sintes, AVP & Business Development Officer at Bank of the West; Charlotte Wall, Spott Lucey & Wall; Emma Cockerton, Co-Founder and CEO of Florin Pensions LLC; James Maycock, Managing Partner of E & M Mayock; and moderated by Jason Kumpf, Director of Partnerships at OFX.

BAB London Director Speaks On Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce Panel 'World Trade At 1: Trading With The USA - Land of Opportunity'

On 23 March, BAB London Director of Policy & Trade Emanuel Adam was invited to take part in a panel discussion on UK-US trade, hosted by the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce. In his presentation, Emanuel focused on four key areas for the transatlantic stakeholder community to watch: Changes to Tax, Immigration, Healthcare, Regulation and Trade. For more information, please click here.

Brexit Begins As Prime Minister Theresa May Triggers Article 50 - Financial Times

On 29 March, UK PM Theresa May triggered the two-year countdown to Britain's departure with the European Union on Wednesday by serving notice to Brussels that she intends to end their 44-year partnership in pursuit of a new place for the UK in the global order. "This is a historic moment from which there can be no turning back," she declared. Mrs May invoked the EU's Article 50 exit clause just before 1.30pm Brussels time when the UK's ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, handed in the Prime Minister's notification of withdrawal letter to Donald Tusk, the European Council President. To read more, please click here.

US Congress Headed For Another Government Shutdown - The New York Times

Just days before funding would run out, Congress is heading towards another government shutdown. Democrats and many Republicans are likely to refuse to support with President Trump's request for funding for his proposed bored wall along the US-Mexico border, financed in part by outsize cuts to medical research. In the wake of the failed House health care bill last week, President Trump appears to be heading for another setback. To help pay for his proposed border wall, Trump has asked for $18bn in cuts to domestic programs and an additional $1.5bn in funding as part of the spending bill to keep the government open for the rest of the year. To read more, please click here.

UK Exports to the US

$4.3 billion in January 2017 - down 8.5% from December 2016. For more trade information click here.

US Exports to the UK

$3.7 billion in January 2017 - down 14% from December 2016. For more trade information click here.

Article 50: Will Anything Change For Business?

The UK is withdrawing from the EU under 'Article 50'. Future UK-EU trade could mean tariffs, rules of origin, and changes to the recognition of licences, employing staff, opening branches, and travel. However, regulation is the biggest issue for business says Sietske de Groot from TradePeers Ltd.

The Government will inherit EU regulation onto its statute book through the 'Great Repeal Bill'. It will offer certainty for business in the short term, as EU and UK laws will be the same. However, UK 'EU' law may change under the next government, and the EU will update its laws as and when necessary, so rulebooks could start to diverge. Also, the UK will adopt case law of the European Court of Justice. But will it follow future rulings? Will I need to know different versions of the rules, depending on my customer?

Now it has received the UK's notification to leave, the EU will decide on the negotiations. Talks will last until October 2018 for the UK to leave in March 2019.
Ideally, the deal comprises a transition period, and withdrawal and trade terms. However, trading under WTO rules remains a possibility. Going forward, questions for businesses are:

How will market access change?
Will the UK keep up with EU laws?
Will there be equivalence?
How will rules be enforced?

'Article 50' is happening. Will anything change for business? Not immediately. But plan ahead! Anticipate changing trading conditions and chart uncertainties.

Ohio UK Aerospace Trade Mission 2017 - Hosted by BACC Ohio

On 17-21 May, the British American Chamber of Commerce will host a trade delegation to the UK, attending and participating in the Aero Engine Forum, Birmingham - a unique program organized in conjunction with Rolls-Royce, UTC, Moog and BCI Aerospace. In collaboration with Kent State University College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability & Technology and KPH Global Trade, the Ohio UK Aerospace Mission 2017 brings US Aerospace Suppliers interested in entering or expanding within the UK aerospace market to meet with suppliers,  network and attend workshops. The event is targeted towards stakeholders in Supply Chains, Procurement, R&D, Engineering and Business Development. For more information, please click here.

The 2017 Transatlantic Conference - Hosted by BABC Chicago

On 10-11 May, BABC Chicago will proudly host the 2017 Transatlantic Conference in the beautiful city of Chicago, Illinois. The aim of the conference is to promote a robust dialogue between the US and the UK, drawing upon the thought leadership of BABC's 2000 strong member companies across its 22 chapters on both sides of the Atlantic. The theme of this year's conference is 'Navigating the New World,' focusing upon the new and exciting opportunities as the United States, Canada, UK and Europe face changes in the realities of economics, trade, borders, and governance. The conference will provide attendees with unique learning and networking opportunities with senior business, government and academic participants from a range of industries and regions. For more information, please click here.


If you are interested in joining BABC at one of our 22 chapters spanning the UK and US, please get in contact with your local chapter. More information can be found at

To stay up to date on Brexit, Trade and other issues relevant to the transatlantic business community, follow us on Twitter @BABCTrade and join our LinkedIn Group Global Trade and Investment.