CEO Update

Published: 2 May 2023

Policy papers, trade guides and hosting a State Governor - a busy April for BritishAmerican Business

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Duncan Edwards
BritishAmerican Business

April has been a busy and rewarding month for BritishAmerican Business as our program of activity has included significant and valuable events in all the areas we cover for our members: public policy, trade advice and promotion and business networking and convening.

To start at the end, we were happy to bring BAB members to meet Governor Ron DeSantis when he visited London on April 28th in partnership with the team from Enterprise Florida. With huge thanks to BAB member, Lloyd’s of London, for hosting the event and to Bruce Carnegie-Brown, Chairman of Lloyd’s, we brought 50 members to a networking event with the Governor which was also attended by UK Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch. We regularly host state governors when they are in the UK but clearly Governor  DeSantis is someone we are following closely at the moment as a potential presidential candidate.

On the theme of State level engagement, on April 18th, an MoU was signed between the UK government and the state of Oklahoma, the fourth such agreement, and we took the opportunity to publish a BAB White Paper looking at the state-level strategy. Given the current US government’s unwillingness to enter into serious discussions about a full free trade agreement, our view is that this state-level strategy makes sense and we wish the UK government success in its implementation. You can read our White Paper here.

Our trade activity focuses mainly on helping SMEs through our BAB Accelerate programming and our partnership with both governments on their work. In the last week of April, we published our updated trade guide to the UK for US companies, ‘Finding Your Way’, with events for members in New York and London. This Guide is freely available to anyone interested and you can download a digital copy here.

Tamra Eker and I visited Nashville, to meet members of the newest chapter in the BritishAmerican Business Network and I was thrilled to moderate a fascinating conversation with HM Trade Commissioner, Emma Wade-Smith. We are all blown away by the energy of the health tech sector, especially in Nashville, and excited by the prospects for more trade and investment links from this great city to the UK.

Emma was also a guest at our semi-annual Advisory Board dinner which was kindly hosted by co-Chair, Anna Marrs, Group President at American Express, at their office in the Financial District. These dinners are off the record but it betrays no confidences to say that the wide ranging discussion took in the banking crisis, the impact of AI, the search for talent and the need for digital skills, the Biden visit to Ireland and the UK’s global trade agenda. But the issue which the table returned to throughout the evening was the political relationship with China and the impact that this will have on all of our businesses in the months and years ahead.

May promises to be just as busy with events planned throughout the month. In June, we will hold the BritishAmerican Business Network’s Transatlantic Conference at the offices of Bank of America in the City of London. The main program is on June 13th and you can see the line-up of guests beginning to take shape by following the link here. If you have any interest in US UK trade and investment issues, or just want to meet new people from within our wider network, please register for what will be a fantastic day.  I look forward to seeing you then, if not before.