U.s. Relations With United Kingdom

iPhone Trade-In Program Comes To The UK

The rating actions follow the conclusion of the review of the UK’s sovereign ratings initiated on 22 March and resolve the Rating Watch Negative. The previous Negative Outlook on the UK’s sovereign ratings had been in place since 14 March 2012. KEY RATING DRIVERS The downgrade of the UK’s sovereign ratings primarily reflects a weaker economic and fiscal outlook and hence the upward revision to Fitch’s medium-term projections for UK budget deficits and government debt. Despite the loss of its ‘AAA’ status, the UK’s extremely strong credit profile is reflected in its ‘AA+’ rating and the Stable Outlook. – Fitch now forecasts that general government gross debt (GGGD) will peak at 101% of GDP in 2015-16 (equivalent to 86% of GDP for public sector net debt, PSND) and will only gradually decline from 2017-18. This compares with Fitch’s previous projection for GGGD peaking at 97% and declining from 2016-17 and the ‘AAA’ median of around 50%. – Fitch previously commented that failure to stabilise debt below 100% of GDP and place it on a firm downward path towards 90% of GDP over the medium term would likely trigger a rating downgrade. Despite the UK’s strong fiscal financing flexibility underpinned by its own currency with reserve currency status and the long average maturity of public debt, the fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic and financial shocks is no longer consistent with a ‘AAA’ rating. – Higher than previously projected budget deficits and debt primarily reflects the weak growth performance of the UK economy in recent years, partly due to headwinds of private and public sector deleveraging and the eurozone crisis. Fitch has revised down its forecast economic growth in 2013 and 2014 to 0.8% and 1.8%, respectively, from 1.5% and 2.0% at the time of the last review of the UK’s sovereign ratings in September 2012. The UK economy is not expected to reach its 2007 level of real GDP until 2014, underscoring the weakness of the economic recovery. – Despite significant progress in reducing public sector net borrowing (PSNB from a peak of 11.2% of GDP (GBP159bn) in 2009-10, the budget deficit remains 7.4% of GDP (excluding the effect of the transfer of Royal Mail pensions) and is not expected to fall below 6% of GDP and GBP100bn until the end of the current parliament term.

The other major donor to IFI is the European Union. Bilateral Economic Relations The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union and a major international trading power. The United Kingdom is one of the largest markets for U.S. goods exports and one of the largest suppliers of U.S. imports. The United States and the United Kingdom share the world’s largest bilateral foreign direct investment partnerships. The United Kingdom is a large source of foreign tourists visiting the United States. It participates in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The United Kingdom’s Membership in International Organizations The United Kingdom and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, G-20, G-8, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. The United Kingdom also is an observer to the Organization of American States. Bilateral Representation The U.S.

The official trade-in program from Apple will allow you to exchange your old iPhone model for one of the new iPhone models (iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C) at a discounted price. After its launch in the United States in August, Apple said the program will launch in the United Kingdom later this year. The trade-in program is now launched in the United Kingdom, though odds are you wont want to use it. Apple offers up to 175 for your old iPhone model in its official stores from the United Kingdom. In US stores, Apple will give you up to $250 for your older iPhone model. The trade-in is available to customers that own an iPhone model not older than the iPhone 3G and it allows them to trade their old iPhone model and receive a gift card with the value of the trade-in; customers can afterwards use this gift card for purchasing a new iPhone model. The newly bought iPhone model must be activated in store. An online version of the trade-in program was released in the United Kingdom last year, and it is based on a different recycling firm. The official trade-in program from Apple might appeal especially to those customers that dont want to deal with private sales, but want to buy the high end iPhone 5S for a little less money. As you may suspect, the smartphone market in the United Kingdom is very different than the smartphone market in the United States. For example, in the United Kingdom you can opt for either a contract that includes a subsidized smartphone and you will pay close to the US prices for both; or you can choose to buy the smartphone at full retail price and take advantage of a very cheap SIM only contract. The cheapest option will be to buy an outright purchase with a cheap monthly contract, but this option is only available to people that can afford the initial expenditure. In the United Kingdom, iPhone 5S full retail price starts at 549 (around $876) for the 16 GB iPhone 5S and gets to 709 (around $1133) for the 64 GB iPhone 5S. A SIM only contract (that includes unlimited calls, texts and data) in the United Kingdom, can be purchased for up to 15 20 ($24 $32) per month.