Changes in U.S. immigration could be good news for Vancouver Tech

For decades U.S. companies have sought out and successfully recruited talented foreigners to work for their American based businesses in a specialized, specific capacity. Classified under H-1B visa immigration status, “which helps employers hire foreign-born workers for high-skilled, high-paid jobs,” said Seattle immigration attorney Tahmina Watson, she’s seeing a ‘seismic shift’ in visa approvals, reports Geekwire in its December 2017 article.

Seattle corporate immigration attorney, Lola Zakharova says, ‘the spike in H-1B rejections’ is related to President Trump’s executive order titled, “Buy American, Hire American” which reportedly tasks the Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State “to suggest policies to reduce fraud and abuse of the H-1B visa,” reports Geekwire.

These changes could be a further boon for tech development in Vancouver, already underway with the “Innovation Corridor” initiative started in 2016, says Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

Vancouver, BC

Vancouver, B.C. (photo credit: Josiah Coates)

As reported by the New York Times in their October 2016 article, “Next Big Tech Corridor? Between Seattle and Vancouver, Planners Hope” , Microsoft president, Brad Smith said, ‘[Canada’s] more open immigration policies [were] an important factor’ in its reported $120 million investment in new Vancouver offices back in June 2016. Microsoft was reportedly aiming to hire more than 750 people in the city.

Microsoft’s commitment to the Cascadia Innovation Corridor appears to have ‘deepened’ as it has reportedly backed a Seattle-Vancouver high speed rail study which was announced at the second Cascadia Innovation Corridor conference, held in Seattle this past September. “By linking our two cities together through cross-border collaboration, research, funding and educational opportunities,” said Smith, “we will spur new economic activity and opportunity that creates a better future for everyone.”

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

Selling Into the USA: Easier Than You Think

By: Jim Pettinger

Have you considered the potential benefits of exporting your company’s products into the United States? If not, you may be neglecting the largest, richest and most responsive market in the world – a market that lies right at British Columbia’s doorstep.

Export from CanadaUnfortunately, many Canadian small business owners and entrepreneurs are either confused or intimidated when they hear the words “export” or “international trade.” But with the right planning, small business owners in Canada can and should approach the U.S. like an extension of the Canadian market. Once you’ve developed some basic procedures for dealing with the international boundary, exporting to the U.S. can be both easy and lucrative.

A Huge and Receptive Market

The United States is a huge market of more than 300 million consumers who welcome foreign products. What’s more, the U.S. government is very cooperative when it comes to helping Canadian businesses get a foothold in U.S. markets.

As a Canadian business owner, you can readily obtain a B-1 visa that will enable you to travel within the U.S. for marketing and other business purposes for up to six months. And once you’ve gone through the appropriate security procedures (like basic fingerprinting and photographing), you can have access to fast-track border crossings unavailable to most other visitors.

The Canadian government has also instituted programs to help facilitate business across our southern border. In addition, Canadian businesses are generally well-respected in the U.S. and considered to be trustworthy. Canadian goods and services are often perceived to be of high quality and a “cut above” by U.S. customers.

Secret to Success: Think Domestic

The secret to successfully exporting your products or services to the U.S. is to “think domestic” by establishing a presence for your business in the United States. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical presence-you just need for your U.S. customers to perceive that your business has a presence south of the border.

In other words, you should organize all the logistics of your business so that American customers do not believe they will have any additional concerns in dealing with a Canadian firm. For example, they need to know that they can deal in U.S. dollars and have their products shipped from or returned to a U.S. address. All of your communications, logistics and other activities should be handled from a real or virtual U.S. branch office or warehouse.

Regardless of whether your U.S. branch or warehouse is real or virtual, having a U.S. presence will pay big dividends in cost savings, response time and control. You can plan ahead to anticipate storage of trade show booths and the purchase of collateral materials in the U.S., as well as for returns and repairs. And you can avoid headaches by shipping your products, literature and other material directly through your nearest U.S. port of entry.

It’s also crucial that you get to know the U.S. marketplace first-hand. Many Canadians think they know everything about the U.S. through what they see and hear in the media, but you can’t just start advertising to Americans from your Canadian base and expect immediate success. You need to spend some time with your “boots on the ground” conducting first-person research in potential new market areas in the U.S.

Also, remember that the United States is a huge market, so you must focus your limited resources. (Related article: Focus, focus, focus). Most Canadian success stories in the U.S. result from niche, rather than broad, marketing efforts. Your company’s specific niche market in the U.S. consists only of those prospects you can reasonably afford to reach.

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 is Canada’s Thanksgiving different from the U.S.A.’s?

While their dinner tables are dressed the same, ironically the reported reason Canadian’s had “first petitioned [to even have] the holiday was to celebrate their luck at not being American.”

In the mid-19th century there was an urgent ‘crisis of faith’ exacerbated by ‘Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species’, prompting protestant ministers in Upper Canada to establish a religious holiday to give Thanks to god’s bounty and reignite the Christian faith. Later on Thanksgiving took on new meaning as Canadians expressed their thanks for not being drug into the U.S. Civil War.

While it’s reportedly true the turkey and trimmings idea was spawned from the U.S.A, each of the great North American nations have their own Thanksgiving history – intertwined, yet unique.

At UCanTrade, Inc. it is our privilege to facilitate Canada / U.S.A. cross-border enterprise and we extend to our Canadian colleagues and friends our warmest wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving 2017!!!

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

(Source: Written by Olivia B. Waxman, October 6, 2017, “The Surprising Reason Canadian Thanksgiving Is Different From the U.S. Version”)

 

The Loonie – A Hindrance or An Opportunity?

Whether it was to catch a cheaper flight from Bellingham to Las Vegas or to shop at an I-5 outlet mall, since 2013 many British Columbians were flocking to the nearest lower-mainland border crossing and travelling to the states in search of a good deal.

Canadian dollar the loonieHowever, a weakened Loonie curbed many Canadian shoppers who’d been making the trip south of the border to stay home. Indeed throughout Washington State’s Whatcom County, retailers in border towns like Sumas, Blaine, Lynden and further south to Ferndale and Bellingham have seen dramatic drops in Canadian shoppers since 2013 (BPRI Winter 2017 Brief: Changes in Canadian Shopping Visits in Northwest Washington, 2013 to 2016).

Interestingly though the loonie has rallied in value to a little over 80 cents to the American dollar. Will we see a surge in cross-border activity again here in Whatcom County? We hope so! However, even in light of recent news, there’s more to the ‘cross-border currency’ story than shopping. Like SELLING! CADUSD20yrs

Historically the USD has dominated over the Loonie as reflected in this 20 year chart. (Source)

A paradigm shift. Can Canadians consider the exchange rate between the Canadian Dollar (CAD) – USA Dollar (USD) not as a hindrance, but rather as an opportunity? They should! Here’s why.

Assuming all the proverbial ducks are in a row, ‘I’s dotted and ‘T’s crossed, the savvy B.C. business owner and entrepreneur stands to earn at least 20% 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$120 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.”

If history is an indicator then a long-term outlook is for a weak Loonie. Canadian companies need to immediately seize the opportunity to stake a position in the lucrative U.S. market. With careful planning, the initial cost can be minimal, but the payoff could be enormous.

Interested in learning more about doing business in the USA? Attend our next DBUSA Seminar &/or download this whitepaper “Ten Tips for Better Border Business”.

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

Doing Business in the USA – Seminar

Canadian companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs who attend this ‘fast-paced’ seminar will learn from cross-border experts how to ‘determine an export strategy’ and ‘understand their responsibilities’ to U.S. government agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration.

Professional veteran cross-border immigration and business lawyers, accountants, customs brokers and logistics providers will guide attendees through the steps of exporting into the U.S.A., as well as be on hand to answer questions and offer consultation.

Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Place: Hyatt Vancouver, 655 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7
Fee: $75.00 CAD plus GST (per attendee)

Questions?  Contact us at (360) 380-6900 for more information or,

CLICK FOR EVENT INFO / TO REGISTER

The Doing Business in the USA seminar is presented by:

dbusa
TradeTips blog is published by UCanTrade, Inc., your cross-border experts since 1983.

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

Order Returns – Cause and Effect

Attributed to the overwhelming increase in e-commerce holiday orders, UPS has hailed January 5th ‘National Returns Day’ because of the volume of product returns it manages during the first week of January – in particular on the 5th.

Ecommerce is on the rise and it’s not only putting increased pressure on shipping couriers like FedEx and UPS but the entire supply chain (Related Article: A Logistics Revolution). While business increases all parties struggle to adapt to the demand. In order to ‘stay ahead of the curve’ both shipping giants have partnered with specialized companies, like UCanTrade, Inc., to better control the costs and challenges presented by “reverse logistics”.

Further, their specialized third party logistics (3PL) partners work closely with retailers/e-tailers to establish (among other things) an effective return policy to best maximize their profits. “[An] easy-to-use returns experience should be one of several retail strategies to enhance customer loyalty and manage the cost of returns processing,” said UPS chief marketing officer Teresa Finley.

This is especially true for Canadian (e-commerce) companies exporting their goods to the U.S. and selling to American consumers; notorious for their high customer service expectations. An effective return policy can give exporters a competitive advantage not only with other Canadian businesses but also with US retailers as well. (Related Article: Return to Sender – What’s Your Policy?)

Consider your supply chain, the cause and effect of returns and then manage it in both directions – there AND back.

UCanTrade, Inc. is a boutique, third-party logistics and warehousing services provider situated 15 minutes south of the B.C. / Washington State, Blaine border crossings. Proudly providing business and logistics services to Canadian importers and exporters, since 1984.

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

(Source Article)

Direct Access to Your US Market

The Bellingham International airport (BLI) is located in Whatcom County (map) and borders the Lower-Mainland / Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada. With four motor vehicle ports of entry into Blaine, WA and Blaine’s close proximity (20 miles or 32 kilometers) to the airport, BLI offers multiple advantages to the BC business traveler.

From most B.C. locations like White Rock, Delta, Surrey, South Surrey, Langley, Aldergrove or Abbotsford, BLI is less than an hour drive away. That travel time is expedited when traffic at the border crossing is light &/or you use a Nexus card (more information about border times and Nexus can be found at UCanTrade.com).

In fact, border wait times are down. There has been a 10% decline in motor vehicle traffic at the Pacific border crossings to date this year compared to the same period in 2015, reports Dave Gallagher of the Bellingham Herald, the weakened Canadian dollar primarily to blame. “When the loonie was nearly at par with the U.S. dollar a few years ago,” reports Gallagher, “it was estimated that more than half of the [airport] passengers were Canadian.”

Even with current exchange rates, travel through BLI still continues to offer “executives and personnel from B.C. companies who conduct their business through Whatcom County … low cost business travel [options] to their U.S. market,” says Jim Pettinger, president of UCanTrade, Inc. Direct flights offered by regional airlines to major cities within U.S. states like Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and California save B.C. business travelers both time and money.

Bellingham International Airport

We welcome visitors! If you are planning a trip to your U.S. market via Bellingham International airport, please consider stopping by UCanTrade, Inc. for a visit! Our 25,000 square foot warehouse is conveniently located just off Interstate 5 between Blaine and Bellingham, at Exit 260, Slater Rd. We’re right on the way and would love to give you a tour.

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

Read more from the Bellingham Herald HERE

U.S. Online Sales Offer Canadians Big Profit Opportunities

Exporting to the United States presents a tremendous growth opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs and e-tailers, but selling across the border has to be done carefully to avoid excess costs. For over 32 years, UCanTrade, Inc. has been the regional leader in providing support services for Canadian businesses exporting to the U.S. in Western North America. We have the experience and the infrastructure to help your company profitably sell your product to the American market, and avoid the expensive pitfalls that can come with doing business across the border.

Why sell your products to customers in the United States? The simple answer is market potential. The United States is a huge market for e-commerce. The US Census Bureau estimates that in the second quarter of 2016 alone, US e-commerce sales will amount to $97 Billion, USD.

UCanTrade.com

UCanTrade.com

To compare the US and Canadian markets, Statistics Canada predicts that by year-end 2016 Canadian retail e-commerce orders will be $34.4 Billion (CAD). Adjusted with August 2016 Bank of Canada’s average exchange rate of 1.29943636 CAD per USD, $34.4 Billion (CAD) equals approximately $47 Billion USD.  Not only are non-export Canadian e-tailers missing out on sales opportunities by volume but they’re also missing out on higher revenue by not earning sales in U.S. dollars.

Canadian e-tailers can realize considerable profits if the costs of international shipping and customs compliance are controlled, and buyer confidence is assured with the backing of an established stateside, U.S. business presence. For almost three decades, UCanTrade, Inc. has been the leader in helping Canadian exporters overcome these kinds of border barriers.  Attend our upcoming seminar or call us to learn more about how we can help you do business in the U.S.A.

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 Much Should I Charge My U.S. Customers?

By:  Jim Pettinger, President of UCanTrade, Inc.

Most Canadian companies preparing to launch into the lucrative U.S. market are unsure how to price their offerings. In a recent issue of his free e-newsletter, “Verne’s Insights”, Verne Harnish recommended a book by Dr. Hermann Simon of Simon-Kucher & Partners, entitled “Confessions of The Pricing Man – How Price Affects Everything”. Pricing is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in business and one that is at best an educated guess at most organizations. One of the books key assertions is that price is the most effective profit driver. Manage for Profit, not for Market Share.

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

Focus, Focus, Focus

During the recent Doing Business in the USA seminar held in Langley, B.C. June 9, 2016, cross-border veteran, Jim Pettinger detailed practical, affordable marketing strategies for small business owners and entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business into the USA.

Pettinger, president and C.E.O. of UCanTrade, Inc., provides Canadian
businesses, particularly those in British Columbia, with USA business
and logistics services from his Ferndale, WA warehouse, located just
south of the Peace Arch border crossing.

UCanTrade.com

He advised the group of attendees, made up of SMEs, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, to ‘think domestically’ when selling goods and services to the U.S.A., adding the “number one obstacle is not the border, it’s dialing in on a target market.”  (Related Article: Five Strategies for Expanding Your Business to the USA)

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