News & Views

Despite the rapid rise of China, the US is still by far the largest and most technologically advanced economy in the world.

It’s no wonder that foreign businesses continue to be drawn to the massive growth potential that cracking the US market can deliver. However, based on a series of articles written by Richard Levick, the eBook, Navigating U.S. Regulatory, Legal and Communications Hurdles, clearly explains the challenges that foreign companies face in entering the US market, and that, if ignored, their ambitions risk being dashed against the rocks.

One of the key take-aways is that you cannot consider the US to be just the US. It is a labyrinth of federal and state laws and regulation, and each of the 50 states should be considered as different markets with their own set of rules and enforcement methods.

The US is also heavily rule-bound and, led by an aggressive plaintiffs’ bar that operates by commission and class-action suits, the US is a country which is very comfortable with litigation. Yes, you may be more likely to face litigation as a US firm, but you are still far more likely to face it as a foreign company operating in the US than you would in your domestic market. And the situation is getting worse, not better.

Foreign companies also need to understand the ways in which politics interacts with regulation and enforcement. Driven by political considerations, most recently the nationalist trade agenda of the Trump administration, and concerns about the economic and technological challenge of China, many companies have been blindsided by erratically imposed trade rules and sanctions.

Beyond a powerful analysis of these challenges, what is so useful about this eBook is that it provides very practical guidance on how to anticipate and manage these challenges. This runs from the value of appointing outside legal counsel before an event occurs; to the importance of forging an American narrative, one that is responsive to US and local traditions and culture; and understanding that the days of the individual fixer-lobbyist type sorting out a problem are gone, and that there is no substitute for appointing the right team to represent your interests.