Pacific NW Ports’ Perfect Storm

port of delta, bcIn 2018, the Pacific Northwest cargo volume increased by 4.5%. Over congestion at California’s Ports combined with cost/capacity advantages found in Washington State and B.C., the Pacific Northwest ports are gaining market share, in particular the Canadian Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert. In the Ports of Seattle/Tacoma, they’re improving their peel-off procedures to not only “support the large corporations but to better serve the midsize importers/exporters too.”

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Americans Are Buying – U.S. Retail Sector Up By 12%

US dollar and Canadian dollars

Savvy Canadian retailers already doing business in the USA are earning as much as 30% more on their U.S. sales than on their domestic sales. In contrast to Vancouver’s local retail market, which BIV (Business In Vancouver) reports is in a ‘slump’, consumer confidence in the USA remains high and Americans are buying. According to the latest July 2019 GDP product by industry report published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, during the first quarter of 2019 “retail trade increased 11.9 percent.” The US market offers B.C. retailers in particular a tremendous opportunity to get better margins and earn more on their sales.

The USA Still Top Choice International Export Destination

Even amidst trade deals and political rhetoric, in the Pacific Northwest corridor, comprised of British Columbia in Canada and the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon (aka Cascadia), it’s been business as usual. Indeed in most recent years many cross-border companies have enjoyed business expansion and growth, UCanTrade, Inc. included.

While doing business in the USA is still the ‘top choice’, Washington State offers B.C. exporters in particular many value added opportunities. Nexus matters. In other words, Americans don’t want the border hassle and expect to purchase from another American retailer. With Blaine border crossings within an hour’s drive of anywhere in the lower-mainland, the nearby USA makes sense. Simply stretch your head office over the border (Learn about Non-Resident Importers) and use the lucrative US market as a spring board for future global expansion. Learn more about exporting from Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade

Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Regional Economic Partnership

Interested in doing business in the USA? Washington State’s tax environment may appeal. The Regional Economic Partnership (REP)’s latest brochure highlights these business friendly tax policies, as well as Whatcom County cities and industries and their respective economic opportunities. With British Columbia, Whatcom County is also a partner in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. “Ranked 22nd by Forbes’ as one of the best places for small businesses and careers”, REP aims to promote economic development in the region. It is funded by the Port of Bellingham, The City of Bellingham and Whatcom County.

“The Effect of the Canada – U.S. Border on the Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA Music Network”

Spring 2019 Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) Brief
Author: Dr. Nabil Kamel

This Brief is guest authored by BPRI’s 2018 faculty fellow Dr. Nabil Kamel, whose research illustrates the effect of the border on the connectivity of the music industry in the region, with a particular focus on emerging artists and Indigenous musicians. It makes a strong case for the benefits of educating all stakeholders – border officers and artists alike- in order to ensure a smoother and more efficient cross-border process.

Click here to read full brief

BPRI studies cross-border passenger vehicle flows

By Jim Pettinger, President at UCanTrade, Inc.

The latest Border Policy Brief from the Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI), “Passenger Flows through the Cascade Gateway: Changes from 2013 to 2018”, is now available at the BPRI publication website. This report is a preliminary analysis of findings from their passenger vehicle survey, which is conducted in partnership with the International Mobility and Trade Corridor Program every five years. In this Brief, they compare findings from surveys collected in the summer of 2013 with those collected in 2018, and includes responses from nearly 25,000 drivers as they crossed the Canada – U.S. border between British Columbia and Washington State in both directions.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade

Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

Why doing business in the USA is still the ‘top choice’.

The United States topped management consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s Foreign Direct Investment (FID) Confidence Index® for the seventh year in a row. According to Paul A. Laudicina, chairman of the Global Business Policy Council, a strategic service at A.T. Kearney, this is largely due to the fact that the US market is enormous, its tax rates are competitive, it possesses ‘technological and innovation capabilities’ as well as has a growing economy.

Inspired by the “Theory of Seven” rule and the fact that the US was top choice for foreign investment consecutively for seven years, International Trade Administration SelectUSA’s executive director, Brian Lenihan explains his seven reasons why “the United States is the best place to do business.” Here’s an excerpt from Lenihan’s recent article*:

  1. Sustained Economic Growth: The United States economy has grown at a greater than 2 percent clip for eight consecutive quarters, including a 3.2 percent growth rate in Q1 2019 that beat market expectations.
  2. Powerful Consumer Market: Businesses operating in the United States have direct access to the world’s largest consumer market, as ranked by the World Bank.
  3. A Fair Corporate Tax Rate: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, meaning businesses can invest more of their revenues back into their operations.
  4. A Simpler Regulatory Environment: The Administration has focused on removing redundant regulations that presented an unnecessary hurdle to doing business.
  5. Intellectual Property Protections: Companies and entrepreneurs can innovate in the United States without worry that their intellectual property will be compromised.
  6. World-class Productivity: The U.S. workforce is more than 37 percent more productive than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average.
  7. An Environment for Entrepreneurship: The U.S. legal system provides predictability and freedom from corruption that allows businesses and entrepreneurs to invest with confidence, as reflected by the United States’ number 1 ranking in the Global Entrepreneurship Index.

Free Export Resources for Canadians

Not to be overlooked by Canadian companies interested in doing business in the USA are the free resources provided by Small Business B.C.’s Export Navigator Program and/or by Canadian trade commissioners. Trade commissioners (TCS) are located in more than 15 US cities and eager to help you get started doing business in the states. UCanTrade, Inc. specializes in providing USA business and logistics services to Canadian importers and exporters. UCanTrade has been serving Canadian companies and helping them to establish their U.S. business identities since 1984. They enjoy long standing cross-border relationships with important cross-border partners such as customs brokers, immigration and business lawyers, bankers and government agencies. Our experience and expertise combined with our 60,000 square feet of warehouse facilities, UCanTrade helps Canadian exporters overcome ‘border barriers’ and become an extension of their Canadian head-office in the nearby United States.

*Source Article: 7-May-19 USA Spends Seven Years Atop Key Business Index by Brian Lenihan

Services replacing goods in world trade.

By Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

A recent article in Fortune magazine references a new study by McKinsey Global Institute that finds trade in goods falling while trade in services is increasing. Developing countries are improving supply chains and producing more of their own goods. Two key implications: (1) Foreign trade is no longer being driven by the search for low wages, and (2) Knowledge-based trade is soaring. Investment in intangible assets—R&D, strong brands, intellectual property—has doubled as a share of trade.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade

Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

How Low Can It Go? The “Loonie” That Is.

If Fidelity Investments’ portfolio manager David Wolf is right, pretty low. “The currency is likely to get weaker and it needs to – to rebalance the economy,” said Wolf in a recent interview with Bloomberg. Wolf is predicting the Canadian dollar could drop to $0.62 “amid a slowing [Canadian] economy.”

For comparison, the long forecast published by The Economy Forecast Agency has the Canadian dollar valued at $0.76 to the US dollar though 2019. For 2020, their expectation isn’t too much different with an average value expected to be approximately $0.75.

Regardless, the overall trend seems to remain; the Canadian dollar will be weaker than its U.S. counterpart over the remainder of 2019 into 2020. This is good news for Canadian exporters doing business in the U.S.A.

Since when is it good to have a low “Loonie”?

Typically Canadians consider the poor exchange rate between the Canadian Dollar (CAD) – USA Dollar (USD) as a hindrance because they are often considering it from a consumer perspective. However, with a slight mental shift away from consumer to business owner/entrepreneur, savvy Canadian companies realize US sales present them with many lucrative opportunities – particularly during a national economic downturn.

Assuming all the proverbial ducks are in a row, ‘I’s dotted and ‘T’s crossed, Canadian business owners and entrepreneur stand to earn at least 30% more on their U.S. sales in part due to the favorable exchange rate.

“Here are the simple facts,” says UCanTrade, Inc. president and dual citizen, Jim Pettinger:

“(1) most U.S. land border crossings have been upgraded and are fully open for Canadian goods and people,
(2) each sale you make for US$100 nets you C$130 or more,
(3) your business presence in the U.S. can lead to a green card and dual-citizen status if you wish, and
(4) American buyers (a) love Canadian goods, (b) have double the available money of their Canadian counterparts and (c) make their buying decisions at least three times as fast.”


With careful planning, the initial cost can be minimal, but the payoff could be enormous.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
https://www.ucantrade.com/

Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade

International Trade – Canada and U.S.A.

Game On!

By: Jim Pettinger

Despite some political uncertainty about how the game will be played, and who will be in the penalty box, the overwhelming opinion seems to be “game on” when it comes to international trade and prosperity in 2019. Our feeling is that communication and data fueled by the internet will continue to link buyers and sellers worldwide despite any short term roadblocks. For Canadians (and others), this article by Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC, the Business Development Bank of Canada nicely sums up a very positive outlook.

Competition for U.S. Parcel Shippers


More competition in the U.S. parcel shipping marketplace?

By Jim Pettinger

Currently, UPS, FedEx and the USPS are the major players in the U.S. parcel shipping marketplace. However, continuing strong growth in e-commerce has encouraged at least two other “majors” to join the fray. Amazon, of course, is exploring all forms of delivery options, and DHL is also quietly expanding its services.

You may remember that DHL brashly (and expensively) leapt into the market in 2009, just in time for the recession to force their retreat. This time, however, according to the Wall Street Journal, they intend to adopt a more strategic approach. With these companies spending billions to move parcels, perhaps now would be a good time to invest in corrugated cardboard.

TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1984.

Subscribe to our TradeTips Newsletter for the latest import/export events and trade news, and/or call us at (360) 380-6900.

UCanTrade
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: info@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade