Despite Brexit uncertainty and Trump tariffs, Anglo- American relations remain strong and the United States is the UK’s top export market. Benjamin Coren discovers how UK businesses can benefit

Comprising 50 states, a federal district and self-governing territories and possessions, the United States of America really is the land of opportunities for business. The USA is the largest, most competitive and technologically advanced economy in the world and US GDP has experienced consistent growth of 1.8% or more since 2011. And what's more, it's also the UK’s top export destination.

The US is an attractive prospect for a range of UK companies and benefits from low regulatory barriers, minimal language barriers, access to global supply chain and a strong rule of law. However, exporting businesses will be aware of President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs imposed in January 2018. The controversial fees add a 25% tariff on imports of steel, and 10% on aluminium on European Union countries. And items ranging from solar panels to washing machines produced outside of the US will also have tariffs imposed which start at a higher rate and gradually decreases over the following years.

The UK’s International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, told parliament: “For the products within the scope of these tariffs, in 2017, the US accounted for 7% of UK steel exports and 3% of UK aluminium exports. The UK accounted for 1% of US steel imports and 0.1% of US aluminium imports, in tonnage, at a value of £360 million and £29 million respectively.” Washington D.C. and New York are home to both the World Bank and the United Nations, respectively, and these organisations can provide good business opportunities for those breaking into the U.S. market to tap in to. The two agencies, combined with numerous others, spend over $180billion on goods, services and aid each year. For UK businesses, the top importing opportunities into the US are electrical machinery and equipment, mechanical appliances, vehicles, mineral fuels and oils, pharmaceuticals, furniture, precious stones and metals, organic chemicals and plastics.

Businesses need to be aware of the market they are entering into and the potential risks. There are major differences between the 50 states and, as such, should each be treated as separate markets.

The US is very competitive and there is saturation of products due to the size of the country. Legal action and litigation is common-place, so businesses need to be prepared for any legal proceedings against them. There are some potentially high costs for doing business including business insurance, cost of living and working visas which are also expensive.


British Airways
The airline flies from Heathrow to Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, San Diego, San Jose and Seattle daily, and to Nashville and New Orleans five times a week. It flies twice daily to Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York Newark, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Phoenix, and on certain days to San Francisco and Washington DC. Additionally, the operator flies to Boston four times a day, Los Angeles three times a day, and New York JFK nine times a day. From Gatwick British Airways flies to Fort Lauderdale, Oakland and Las Vegas three times a week, and New York JFK, Orlando and Tampa daily. It also flies to New York JFK from London City Airport six times a week, missing Saturdays.

American Airlines
From Heathrow, the airline flies to Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and Charlotte twice daily; New York JFK and Chicago four times a day; Dallas three times a day; and operates a daily Raleigh/Durham service. AA also serves Scotland, flying from Edinburgh to New York JFK daily and from Glasgow to Philadelphia daily. From Manchester, the operator flies daily services to Chicago, Las Vegas and Philadelphia.

Delta Air Lines
The airline flies from Heathrow to Atlanta and New York JFK twice daily and operates daily services to Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Oakland, Salt Lake City, San Diego and Denver. It also flies daily to Detroit (twice a day on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) and to Portland four times a week and St. Louis three times a week. It also serves New York JFK from Edinburgh and Glasgow daily and Atlanta from Glasgow daily.

United Airlines
United operates daily services from Heathrow to Denver and Los Angeles. It flies three times a day to Chicago and Washington DC and operates to Houston and San Francisco twice daily and New York Newark five times a day. From Scotland, United operates daily services to New York Newark from Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as daily services to Chicago and Washington DC from Edinburgh. Additionally, the carrier operates daily services to New York Newark from Manchester.

Virgin Atlantic
Operates direct daily services from London Heathrow to Miami, Seattle, Boston, Atlanta, New York Newark and Washington DC; Los Angeles three times a day and twice on Fridays; New York JFK six times a day; and San Francisco twice-daily. Virgin gears its Gatwick operations more towards leisure travellers with flights to Las Vegas six times a week and a daily service to Orlando. Outside of the UK capital, Virgin operates flights out of Manchester to Atlanta, New York JFK and Orlando daily, with services to Boston and Las Vegas twice a week and San Francisco three times a week.

The low-cost long-haul operator runs daily from London Gatwick to Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, which is twice a day on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The carrier flies to Austin and Denver from Gatwick three times a week and operates to New York JFK twice daily, with the exception of one flight on Wednesdays. Passengers also have the option to fly to Seattle and Orlando four times a week, and Oakland six times a week. The carrier recently announced a new twice-weekly service from Gatwick to Tampa, commencing October 31, and it will increase services to Fort Lauderdale to daily, and additionally offer three flights a week to Las Vegas this winter. From Edinburgh, Norwegian flies to Providence, Rhode Island three times a week, and New York Stewart four times a week.

Other Direct Carriers
From London Heathrow, Air New Zealand operates a daily service to Los Angeles while Air India flies three times a week to New York Newark. Primera Air operates services from London Stansted to New York Newark daily and to Boston four times a week, and is also launching flights to Washington DC this summer. Singapore Airlines flies from Manchester to Houston five times a week and Thomas Cook Airlines takes passengers from Manchester to Seattle twice a week and also flies to San Francisco and Los Angeles three times a week.

One-Stop Options
Air Europa operates daily services via its hub in Madrid to Miami and New York JFK from London Gatwick.

Flying to 14 destinations in the US, Aer Lingus has helped make Dublin Airport the fifth-largest transatlantic gateway in Europe. It operates services to New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Orlando, San Francisco, Newark, Hartford, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle and Philadelphia. The latter two services were introduced earlier this year. Its US network from Dublin is fed by Aer Lingus and Aer Lingus Regional flights from 18 UK airports.

WOW Air’s North American routes all fly via its Reykjavik-Keflavik hub. From here it flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Boston St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Dallas, New York JFK and Newark and Washington DC.

ICELANDAIR flies to some 15 cities across the US from its Reykjavik hub, and has launched new services to Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport. The service is fed by Icelandair connections from over 25 European destinations including London airports, Manchester and Glasgow.


The trendy Ace Hotel or the popular New York Marriott Marquis on Times Square. In Midtown, try the art deco-style WestHouse Hote.

Consider the trendy and unique Virgin Hotel. The upscale Sheraton Grand Chicago commands great river views while W Chicago sits on the shores of Lake Michigan.

For luxury try the Four Seasons Hotel Houston. For longer visits, Staybridge Suites Houston I-10 may suit as will the Residence Inn by Marriott Houston Downtown.

The Fairmont San Francisco has great views over the bay. Hilton properties include Union Square and Parc 55 San Francisco. Also consider Axiom Hotel and Proper Hotel.

Upscale options include the Beverly Hills Marriot and W Los Angeles. Business travellers may also like the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City or the Sofitel Los Angeles.

No shortage of trendy hotels here: try Loews Miami Beach, Setai Miami Beach or the AC Hotel by Marriott Miami Beach. Downtown options include Kimpton EPIC Hotel, Conrad Miami and Hilton Miami.

Try the revamped post office, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC. The modern Wink Hotel is well located near Dupont Circle.


Take the chance to see the Statue of Liberty and see the observatory at the top of One World Trade Centre. In summer months, the High Line is a great walk on the formerly disused rail tracks.

The Navy Pier juts out onto the waters of Lake Michigan and is home to a 200-foot Ferris wheel, or go for a stroll in the 24.5-acre Millennium Park.

Discover America’s history of space exploration at Space Center Houston. Also see Houston Zoo and the Menil Campus, which is home to a 30-acre neighbourhood of art.

Check out the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The former prison on Alcatraz Island is a popular tourism destination. Also visit Alamo Square to see its array of colourful houses.

Griffith Observatory offers excellent views of the city. In Santa Monica, go for a stroll along Santa Monica pier, and if time permits, check out LA’s various movie studios.

Check out the South Beach social scene on Ocean Drive and see the colourful art deco buildings. Stroll around the Wynwood Art District filled with colourful street art.

Take a trip to famous museums including the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History. Don't miss the home of the US President, The White House.