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May Day for Trump's Next 100 Days

As May Day marks the start of President Trump’s next 100 days, you no doubt are assessing what his law-making approach and policies will mean for foreign businesses expanding in the world’s largest economy.

First, the latest announcement of planned cuts in corporate and individual tax rates should find US companies with more repatriated cash to spend on international acquisitions, especially in the UK where weaker Sterling makes targets even more attractive.

Next, despite the current highly-volatile American political environment, British companies in a post-Brexit climate are bolstering their US growth efforts as they prefer doing business with familiar partners in an economy with the size and scale of the US rather than await clarity on trade agreements with EU member states.

Finally, whatever happens in Washington, the American business culture is persistent, with investors and partners willing to take risks and open to new ideas, products and services regardless of country of origin.

For companies to avoid sending out their own mayday call, they need to ensure their US success by paying attention to the culture and current climate of America First.  Here are a few top tips that will raise their odds:

  • Look and act like a local.  Not necessarily with a 30 ounce coffee in hand (yes, Starbucks does sell the “Trenta” for this purpose) , but be seen to be creating American jobs and establish a US phone number and office, virtual or real.
  • Remember, the clock is king.  Doing deals quickly is the norm.  Don’t wait until your product or service is 99% ready or you’ll have missed the opportunity.  Schedules and deadlines are serious business so make sure you can deliver on time or risk losing business and risking relationships.
  • Immerse yourself.  Spend as much time in the US researching and observing what people do with your product or service.  UK food stores Pret-a-Manger made an early mistake in New York by putting butter and cream cheese on its bagels.  Don’t be the clumsy foreigner, but instead be prepared.

The bottom line? If companies approach the US with cultural insights and localized offerings, they stand to build profitable relationships and enterprises.  Knowing before going determines which are the big winners and losers.

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