The international delivery expert ParcelHero reveals Joe Biden’s Presidency will make UK-US trade calmer but it won’t be plain sailing for UK exporters.
The UK-US delivery specialist ParcelHero says trading with America is likely to be considerably smoother following the inauguration of President Biden. Several of his new policies, however, will have a significant impact on exporters and shippers to the USA.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says President Biden’s first day in office clearly signalled his intention to work far more closely with overseas nations. However, the eagerly awaited UK-US trade deal is certainly not top of his list of actions for his first 100 days.
Says David: ‘Former President Donald Trump’s four years in office were a wild ride for anyone selling to the US. However, as British traders struggle to sell to the European Union (EU) because of new Brexit regulations, Joe Biden’s USA is unlikely to ride to the rescue any time soon.
‘Trump consistently supported the UK’s departure from the EU. In 2016, he called himself “Mr Brexit” and he promised a “phenomenal” deal on his state visit to Britain in June 2019. However, Joe Biden’s Democrats have consistently been a lot less enthusiastic about a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK.
‘Former Democrat President Barack Obama once warned the UK that, if it voted for Brexit, Britain would go to the “back of the queue” on trade deals. Democrats preferred the option of negotiating with a united EU when reaching trade agreements. Significantly, President Biden, who is proud of his Irish heritage, has voiced his concern about the impact of Brexit on the Good Friday Agreement. He’s unlikely to be impressed with the UK Government’s continuing fudge over Northern Ireland trade, which has left UK stores struggling to stock branches in both Northern Ireland and the ROI, and which still threatens potential new charges on parcels.
‘However, it’s encouraging that Biden started his Presidency on day one by dragging the US back into international relationships and agreements such as re-joining the Paris climate agreement. In fact, President Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, yesterday urged international cooperation ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November. The reversal of many of Trump’s “America first” policies is likely to encourage international trade.
‘For all former President Trump’s supposed enthusiasm for a trade deal with the UK, it didn’t stop him from imposing significant new taxes of 25% on British luxury goods such as Scotch whisky and cashmere knitwear. The Scotch Whisky Association says exports to the US have fallen 30% since the tariff came into force. This wasn’t his only use of punitive tariffs on other nations. “Trade wars are good and easy to win,” said Trump in 2017.
‘President Biden, in stark contrast, says it was US citizens rather than other countries that felt the brunt of Trump’s trade war tariffs. Biden’s Presidency is, at least, likely to spell the end of tit-for-tat tariffs with the UK, EU and China.
‘UK sellers using online marketplaces such as Amazon may be concerned about Biden’s call for federal regulators to investigate them. Any splitting up of major international e-commerce sites would certainly add new levels of complexity for UK traders. Could that be a motivation behind Amazon’s offer to help distribute the Covid vaccine, made shortly after the inauguration? A leading Amazon executive, Dave Clark, has written to the President: “As you begin your work leading the country out of the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon stands ready to assist you in reaching your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of your administration.” UK traders, and indeed sellers across the world, will be hoping this encourages a thaw in relations.
‘Finally, Biden has pledged to keep the US post office (USPS) from privatisation. That is good news for UK online marketplace traders still using traditional mail services to the US. The bad news is that the fate of the USPS could be out of Biden’s hands. The prominent Trump donor Louis DeJoy is now US Postmaster General. He has already cut services and ripped-up mailboxes. Biden does not have the power to nominate or fire the Postmaster General — that’s up to the USPS Board of Governors, the majority of whom are Republican.
‘It’s clear that Biden’s Presidency will be of huge importance for UK trade, just as we are navigating the uncharted waters of Brexit. ParcelHero’s constantly updated USA parcel delivery guide will keep shippers up to speed with any changes to US deliveries. You can find out the latest information on US deliveries, including price changes, at https://www.parcelhero.com/en-gb/international-courier-services/usa-parcel-delivery