Newsletter and insights

SACC-DC publishes a monthly newsletter reaching its members and community on both sides of the Atlantic, around 2000 individuals and organizations. It is a prime source of information about our upcoming events, what is going on in Washington, D.C. and featured articles. If you would like to receive the newsletter in the future, sign up using the link on the right.

SACC-DC also provides insights of the political development in the U.S. and from our members. You can read the insights below the newsletter archive.

Transatlantic Relations and Biden's Family Plan With Blue Star Strategies

We had the great opportunity to interview Karen Tramontano, the Co-Founder, and CEO of Blue Star Strategies. Karen Tramontano has a long and fascinating experience with government relations. Her portfolio encompassed various issues, including international trade, transatlantic relations, and economic and financial matters concerning the World Trade Organization, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund. Karen has also served in the Clinton administration as Deputy Chief of Staff. 

Tell us about Blue Star Strategies and your areas of expertise.  

Sally Painter and I founded Blue Star Strategies in 2009 in the midst of the recession. It was a risk, but we knew that the only way to succeed was reaching for the top – and from there, it took off!   

Blue Star Strategies is a government affairs firm primarily representing government-regulated international companies in the U.S. and U.S. companies abroad. Our expertise and what we have to offer our clients is a deep understanding and knowledge of how governments work, how they make decisions, and how to positively influence governments and their policy processes. We work with companies across all sectors, which gives us a unique position in the market.   

Our clients always know about their own company, the products and services they provide, and how they do it – we come in when they need to learn how to move the government and policies towards the right regulatory decision. We provide client services for companies to unlock their political, policy, investment, and resource challenges in the United States.  

What is your connection to SACC-DC?   

Our first connection with SACC-DC was at the annual SACC Summit when I was asked to discuss U.S. politics and the upcoming election. After that, we remained engaged, became members, and now Jesica, our General Counsel at Blue Star Strategies, serves on the SACC-DC board. We like SACC-DC’s openness and range of services for its members. We benefit by being introduced to companies that may be interested in dialoguing with us. It has been a great partnership.  

I understand that the American Family Plan is something you have expertise in; what are your key insights on the subject, and how could it affect the daily lives of the American people?  

The American family plan would be a massive shift for the American economy, and more importantly, it would significantly impact people’s day-to-day lives. The family plan is essential during the post-pandemic era, an era characterized by increasing childhood poverty. In the light of childhood poverty, the plan would support families trying to pay for childcare and provide a higher wage for the workers providing the care. The family plan the Biden Administration has proposed makes inroads to provide care for people, whether it is the tax credit for children, more affordable education, or childcare.  

It is a much-needed change. Whether it happens is a big question since there is not bipartisan support for the plan. Parts of that plan would only pass through a reconciliation mechanism, and we are a long way away from that. We have to wait and see what happens in the fall.  

How do you see the trade relationship between Europe and the USA develop with the Biden administration? What signals and expectations are there?  

Trade has become such a hot political topic, and it is very challenging to get into a trade discussion about a particular trade agreement. There are expectations on the Biden Administration to rebuild the relationship between the E.U. and the U.S. after the Trump Administration. I see positively that although the Biden Administration has only been in office for a short period, the bilateral relationships between the U.S. and E.U. are indeed getting back to what they used to be.   

I believe the Biden Administration’s path, at least until the end of 2021, is to solve existing long-term issues and rebuild trust. At the beginning of 2022, the dialogue might shift towards being trade-centric and more specific. But for now, they currently have a lot on their plate due to the pandemic and the vaccine hesitation.  

Is there anything you want our members to know about BlueStar? 

We are engaged with the chamber; we appreciate the chamber’s work – and we are always interested in talking to members. SACC-DC has many entrepreneurial and innovative member companies in future sectors, and we are always open to listening, connecting, and giving some free advice.

Learn more about BlueStar Here

Researched & Written by Julia Jäger, Business Associate