Transatlantic Greater Birmingham

Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Birmingham Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce is committed to promoting trade and investment between the US and the UK

Contact: Lauren Hunt T: 0845 603 6650

Transatlantic Chamber Patrons

Duo share expertise with engineering firm

US engineering construction firm Burns & McDonnell have boosted their UK presence by welcoming two new engineers to their Birmingham headquarters. Ahsan Halim

(pictured) and Arash Nateghi will focus on engineering and consulting projects with the firm’s array of clients. Ahsan, who is experienced in

electrical control system engineering, will focus on smart grid and automation projects, as well as providing technical input to detailed engineering design projects for the UK electricity transmission and distribution sector. He said: “It is an exciting time to be joining

Burns & McDonnell. To be able to make a difference it is not just about thinking through solutions, but being able to implement those ideas and bring them to life.” Arash, who joins from National Grid, brings

expertise in the technical aspects of connecting electric vehicle charging infrastructure to the electricity system. He said: “Burns & McDonnell has an

unparalleled track record working on some truly remarkable infrastructure projects in North America.”

‘Alarming’ tariff push prompts fresh debate

Transatlantic business leaders are calling for a “fresh and urgent” debate on multilateral trading rules following president Donald Trump’s push for greater powers to impose tariffs on goods imported into the United States. Under the Reciprocal Trade Act, president

Trump would be able to impose tariffs on goods sold to the US if another country places an unfair tariff on American products.

‘It is time for a fresh and urgent debate about the multilateral trading rules’

In his annual State of the Nation address to

Congress, Trump said this would empower him to respond faster during trade wars. “I am asking you to pass the United States

Reciprocal Trade Act, so that if another country places an unfair tariff on an American product, we can charge them the exact same tariff on the same product that they sell to us,” he said.

The president already has some powers to

impose tariffs without approval from Congress, primarily by citing national security as a reason. He used those powers last year to impose

tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. However, Duncan Edwards, the CEO of BritishAmerican Business, of which the Greater Birmingham Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce is part, says the latest proposals are “alarming” and heighten the risk of tit-for-tat trade wars. He said: “We should note the concept of a

Reciprocal Trade Act, introduced to Congress, allowing the US to impose tariffs, and other measures, on imports equal to those on its own exports. This would mean a departure from one of the principles of the WTO but it feels like there is support for this part of the President’s agenda. “EU and UK trade negotiators should take

serious note. As an organisation that believes in the benefits of free and open trade, these developments are alarming. “It feels like it is time for a fresh and urgent

debate about the multilateral trading rules before things escalate further.”

Conference returns to city

United Airlines expands its first class offering

United Airlines is adding more than 1,600 business class and first class seats to around 250 of its aircraft. The airline is also introducing the two-cabin,

50-seat Bombardier CRJ 550 aircraft to its fleet, offering customers on key routes more legroom, storage and amenities. Executive vice president and chief

commercial officer Andrew Nocella said: “In an era where many airlines are adding seats to their aircraft to crowd more passengers onto the plane, we're re-configuring more than 100 of our aircraft and doing exactly the opposite – for the benefit of our customers.” More United First seats are being added to

the fleet of Airbus aircraft, offering customers greater opportunities to upgrade and enjoy a premium flying experience. In addition, the carrier plans to add four

United First seats on its fleet of Airbus A319s, increasing the total count from eight to 12.

44 CHAMBERLINK March 2019

Centre stage: GBTCC manager Lauren Hunt, BAB vice president Mandy Haque, the Chamber's chief operating officer Russell Jeans and Conservatoire pianist Ned Wheaton

Tickets are now on sale for a major transatlantic business conference which is returning to Birmingham for a second year. The Greater Birmingham Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual transatlantic

conference, which will welcome chapters of the BritishAmerican Business network from across the UK, United States and Canada. It takes place on 27 and 28 June at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where a host of high-profile speakers and business experts will discuss the future of transatlantic trade. Last year’s transatlantic featured a stellar line-up of guest speakers, including US ambassador to the

UK, Robert Wood Johnson. Tickets are priced at £75 for Chamber members and £100 for non-members.

For more information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Lauren Hunt on

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