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Policy and Trade Update

April 2016

Highlights

Future Cities: Smart, Sustainable & Social

This years' transatlantic conference held in London seeks to address what challenges cities and businesses face in the changing world that we live in with an exciting list of speaker discussing issues including infrastructure, investment, innovation, technology and urban security.  The conference will feature a blend of keynote addresses from significant business leaders to senior Government figures, including mayors of Liverpool, Texas and Philadelphia.

 

This event brings together business from right across the US and the UK covering all 20 major business areas of the BritishAmerican Business Council. Join us for thought provoking and stimulating content and unrivaled networking. To register click here.

BABC Trade Initiative

For its upcoming trade initiative, the BABC is currently looking for small and mid-sized US-based companies exporting to the UK/EU or generally interested to expand across the Atlantic. To learn more, please contact Lena Muxfeldt at policy2@babinc.org. 

Policy Events and Initiatives

BABC chapters participate in Bertelsmann Foundation TTIP report and roadshow series

In March the the Bertelsmann Foundation release 'TTIP Beyond the Beltway: American Perspectives'. It is the culminating report of their TTIP Town Hall program which BABC Greater Philadelphia and BABC New England participated in. It offers an economic overview of the five states selected for the program – Pennsylvania, Texas, Alabama, California and Massachusetts – and an assessment of each state’s trade and investment relationship with the European Union. The full report can be read here.

BABC Northern California Event on 'Global Words of Wisdom... On Cross-Border Data Transfer'

On 30 March 2016 BABC Northern California brought together a panel of experts to discuss cross border data transfers. Along with covering the impact of the proposed Privacy Shield agreement, panellists including Chris Steffen, Chief Evangelist for Cloud Security at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, discussed how companies are now controlling and managing the international flow of customer and employee data and how they envision having to do so in the future and how financial companies are impacted by financial data transfer rules. Full details of the event can be found here.

Outreach and Media

Removing trade barriers helps smaller companies

Removing barriers to trade helps smaller companies. Leeds-based Just Trays who participated in BAB's first TTIP report and who just secured accreditation in the US, already shows us why. Congratulations! Read more here.

BABC’s CEO in the Guardian: Americans and Australians are among the most affected by the expected changes to Tier 2

In a recent Guardian article on the proposed changes in non-EU immigration to the UK, BABC’s CEO, Jeffries Briginshaw, emphasized that any restriction to the Tier 2 visa scheme will have a negative impact on the way American businesses operate in the UK and how American citizens can be part of the UK. To read the article, click here.

Opinion Piece in EurActiv: TTIP: The end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?

In an opinion pieces published in EurActiv, BAB Fellow Sanford Henry provides some thoughts on why he thinks government(s) must not shy away from confronting the challenge of TTIP. To read the opinion piece, click here.

LillyPad Blog: Pork Pies, SMEs and TTIP

Following the launch of BAB's TTIP publication 'Four Sectors, Many Stories, One Ambition', ourcolleagues from Lilly tell us why SMEs, Health and TTIP belong together. The blog titled ‘Pork pies, SMEs and TTIP’ can be found here.

Policy blog: The US Presidential Election 2016 - A dark forecast for trade?

Over the past few weeks, BAB London's Policy intern, Fatma, looked into what the US Presidential Election means for free trade. Her interesting yet “dark forecast” has now been published as blog post on BABC's website here.

Policy News

The Twelfth Round of TTIP Negotiations: Public Report - March 2016

"Parties agreed on accelerating their work between negotiating rounds with a view to picking up the pace of negotiations at large. Two additional fully fledged negotiation rounds are planned between now and the summer break. The pivotal and overarching objective is to negotiate an ambitious, high standard TTIP agreement that responds to both EU and US interests." - European Commission

 

The European Commission published their report of progress made during the 12th round of TTIP negotiations held in Brussels in February. As part of the  overall intensification of talks, this round stretched into a second week as the United States and the European Union exchanged government procurement offers and continued discussions on rules of origin as well as intellectual property rights. The negotiators particularly focused on two of the three pillars of the agreement: regulatory cooperation and rules.

Two Rounds of TTIP Negotiations before Summer 2016

In the 12th round of TTIP negotiations, the negotiating parties agreed on accelerating their work between rounds with a view to picking up the pace of negotiations at large. Two additional fully fledged negotiation rounds are planned between now and the summer break, with the next round taking place in New York in April (for more information click here). The pivotal and overarching objective is to negotiate an ambitious, high standard TTIP agreement that responds to both European Union's and US interests. The European Union reiterated its intention to ensure substantial progress be made in all three pillars of the agreement by the summer break.

UK Government Respond to Tier 2 Visa Recommendations

On 24 March 2016 the UK Government responded to the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on Tier 2 visas (released 19 January 2016). Key takeaways includeenhanced weighting will be given to allocation of Tier 2 places associated with relocation of high value businesses to the UK or that supports inward investment, the right of dependants to work remains. Immigration Skills Charges, to be levied on Tier 2 employers at a rate of £1,000 per person per year from April 2017.

New EU-US Privacy Shield Framework

On 29 February 2016, the Department of Commerce and European Commission released the details of the new US-EU Privacy Shield program, intended to replace Safe Harbour. At present Privacy Shield is pending approval and not currently a valid process for transfer and storage of data. The package communicated to EU Commissioner Věra Jourová from US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, included supporting letters from the US government departments to provide assurances that the privacy rights of Europeans will be protected. Full text and fact sheet can be found here.

FAA Reauthorization

Lawmakers are closing in on legislation to renew the Federal Aviation Administration. There are a few issues up for debate such as the future of the air traffic control system and the Passenger Facility Charge. It is being stalled due to the controversial possibility of privatizing the air traffic control system. The bill is supported by Chairman Bill Sushter and most of the country's major airlines. Read the full article here.

EU Considered Restricting Visa Free Travel for Americans and Canadians

This considerations came as retaliation for the restrictions that have been imposed on five European countries by the US and Canada (Read the full article here). On 12 April 2016, the Commission, however, decided not to pursue the suspended visa waiver program (as of yet, for more info clickhere). If the EU were to go ahead and imposed these restriction then the US would respond automatically under its own reciprocity clause and require visas for even more EU countries.

Upcoming

BAB Panel discussion on 'The Day after Tomorrow: What the EU referendum means to transatlantic business'

On 5 May 2016 BAB London will organise a panel discussion in London aiming to highlight the challenge and opportunities presented by both outcomes of the referendum through a risk assessment lens. Drawing on BAB's advantageous position as the voice of transatlantic business, the event will have a specific focus on the transatlantic implications of the vore. For more info, clickhere

SNABC to host event with Lord Darling of Roulanish on Trade

On 20 May 2016, the SNABC in conjunction with the Institute of Directors will host a lunch with Lord Darling of Roulanish.  The discussion will focus on the importance of transatlantic trade and the future of free trade. Lord Darling was an Edinburgh MP from 1987-2015. He held a number of Senior Cabinet Posts before serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2007-2010. He joined the Board of Morgan Stanley in January 2016.

BABC PNW will host event on 'BREXIT: Understanding the Impacts and Implications of the UK's EU Referendum'

Ahead of the UK's referendum on EU membership on 23 June 2016, BABC Pacific Northwest will host event outlining the history behind the vote, explore the cases for and against the UK's continued membership in the EU and get insights into what a post-referendum UK might look like under each scenario. On 18 May 2016 speakers from KPMG, the University of Washington and Verus will analyse the business & trade implications for companies in the US & more specifically in the PNW region, including the potential impact on TTIP negotiations. Full event details can be foundhere.

This Policy and Trade Update is being prepared by the Policy and Trade Team at BritishAmerican Business (BAB) in London for the British-American Business Council (BABC). For any questions, please contact: policy@babinc.org. If you do not wish to receive these updates, please UNSUBSCRIBE using the link below.