Volume X | December 15 2020
Since 1989 SACC-DC has offered a platform for developing U.S. – Swedish lucrative commercial ventures and professional opportunities through our network and business and social events. The SACC-DC Newsletter will help you stay on top of what’s happening in the Swedish-American business community and find the perfect opportunity to create new business connections in the greater Washington D.C. area and Mid-Atlantic region.
From the Executive Director
President-elect Joe Biden has announced his economic team to include Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury; Neera Tanden, Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury; Cecilia Rouse, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey, members of the Council of Economic Advisers.

With the appointments, Biden is signaling to the business community that it is focused on installing experienced, proven leadership, including on matters of trade. Scott Ruesterholz, portfolio manager at New York based Insight Investment recently noted. “We expect the Biden administration to prioritize domestic economic matters over trade matters.... Accordingly, there will be a much lower risk of unilateral tariffs and other surprise trade actions.”

According to Jorge Castro, a partner at Miller & Chevalier in Washington DC, the Biden-Harris campaign also signaled their support for a more progressive tax code and for reforming the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including raising the corporate tax rate, which would impact the business community significantly.

And while there is a long list of helpful policies that both sides agree on, consensus on a second major stimulus package remains elusive. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to clinch a deal and to keep the cost of the package below $1 trillion. A major stumbling block in the ongoing talks is a push by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to include broad legal protections for businesses and other organizations from lawsuits over COVID-19. Lawmakers could still pass a stimulus bill before the Senate adjourns for its holiday recess on December 18.

Our holiday season may look like none in the past. However, gratitude, generally in focus this time of year, is readily available to us and associated with greater happiness and even longevity. Gratitude can be expressed in multiple ways; applied to the past, retrieving positive memories, or feeling optimistic that there are good things ahead. Maybe most powerful of all is gratitude in the present, not taking things for granted as they come.

With that, I wish health and tranquil holidays.

Karin and team
Sr. Business Associate Oscar Theblin
Business Associate Thea Nguyen
Business Associate Noel Rodhe
On December 3, SACC-DC hosted a highly successful Holiday celebration on Zoom. Various guest speakers, fantastic sponsors who donated a wide variety of prizes to be raffled off, an auction, live music and a broadcast from the trainees in Sweden filled the program and made it a great time. Thank you to all sponsors and attendees for making this a wonderful virtual event celebrating one of our favorite holidays!

For those who want to learn more about Swedish culture, below are some trivia about university city Lund and rhymes for the Christmas gift of the year, crafted by our trainees in Sweden. Have a guess and scroll down to the end of the newsletter to check the answers!

Spotlight - Petra Socolovsky, Realtor at Wydler Brothers of Compass
Petra Socolovsky’s story is international in every sense. She grew up in small town Töreboda in central Sweden and studied journalism at Stockholm University. Petra completed her studies with a Master in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam, whereafter she worked in the Netherlands as a freelancer for Swedish radio and magazines, a line of work entailing lots of independence which suited Petra. During her time in the Netherlands, Petra also met her husband, with whom she then moved to Spain and had children while continuing her career as a journalist.

In 2010 she became U.S.-based working as a correspondent for Swedish radio. However, last year she decided to make a career change after 25 years as a journalist. A longstanding interest of Petra is real estate, architecture and interior design, so the natural decision was to become a realtor. Being a realtor has suited Petra perfectly, considering her entrepreneurial spirit and her ability to navigate different cultures as well as her proficiency in quite a few languages. She also enjoys the financial freedom.

Working at Wydler Brothers of Compass, Petra is licensed in D.C. and Maryland, and during the past year, with Covid-19 influencing the real estate market, she has spotted some trends in the D.C. area. According to Petra, a general trend is that people want to move out from the city; working from home eliminates the need to commute while the demand for larger homes with private outdoor space has increased. Consequently, prices for condominiums in the District have stagnated and there is a lot for sale, while interest in the real estate market is high despite it being a time of year when the interest usually is slightly cooler.

Petra has noted that ever since the pandemic struck the U.S., people have started to increasingly value their homes and the importance of having a home in which you are comfortable spending the majority of your time. Ever since late spring, home sales have been high with just a slight dip during the weeks around the presidential election. As for the foreseeable future, Petra believes that real estate prices will go up as long as interest rates remain low and the economy starts to recover with the availability of vaccines. "This season, Americans are behaving more like Swedes during their long dark winters and spending a lot of time indoors, and they've started appreciating how much a beautiful and comfortable home can lift your spirits", says Petra.
Open position alert!
SACC-DC member company Securitas is looking for a Technical Project Manager overseeing data analysis and the company's software platform to be based in Arlington, VA. The details of the position can be found here.

Digital MedTech and Pharma trade delegation to the U.S. in collaboration with Swecare and SACC-USA

SACC-DC has partnered up with Swecare and SACC-USA for a virtual trade delegation to the U.S., which started on November 10 and it set to continue throughout the entire winter and conclude in March 2021. The program of the trade delegation includes an exploratory webinar series, export study visits, a mid-program get-together and more.

More information about the program can be found here!
Swedish companies switch Americans to a healthier lifestyle

Nicokick is a fast-growing e-commerce company focused on providing tobacco-free nicotine pouches. Since beginning as a small start-up in 1998, Nicokick has become the world’s largest American online distributor in the smokeless industry, with customers in 34 countries. Nicokick is part of the world’s leading oral nicotine provider, the Sweden-based Haypp Group.

Smokeless, tobacco-free nicotine pouches are among the safest alternatives to smoking and help users transition away from more harmful products, and that is why Nicokick is focused on harm reduction and improving access to tobacco-free nicotine products for millions of adults.

Unfortunately, the ability for smokers to transition to harm reduction products like nicotine pouches is being threatened in states that seek to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products. We have seen this most recently in California, which passed overly broad legislation that would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products - including menthol - starting January 2021. While there is a ballot initiative in the state to provide voters the opportunity to oppose this policy, the outcome of that process is uncertain.

What is certain is that we can anticipate more states passing harmful flavor bans and may see similar activity on the federal level, particularly given that President-elect Joe Biden has selected current California Attorney General, an outspoken supporter of California’s flavor ban, to serve as Health and Human Services Secretary.

Flavor bans don't work, and provisions like those that passed in California threaten to undo the progress smokeless users have made and create widespread unintended public health risks to adult users who may now have no realistic option but to switch to cigarettes. Though concerns about youth use of e-cigarettes are serious and justified, flavor bans will make it difficult for adult tobacco users to switch to less harmful smoke-free products. Consumers want these safer options, as shown by the rapid growth of NicoKick sales in the United States.

For example, the company's growth was just over 450% when comparing the third quarter of last year to this year, and Swedish Match had grown almost 200% when compared to the previous year. In 2020 alone, NicoKick's sales have quadrupled in California.

“In the last year we have seen a rapidly growing number of Americans switch to a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle and choose smokeless flavored nicotine products, with our sales in November 2020 beating all records of active consumers and sales in the United States,” said Markus Lindblad, Head of External Affairs of NicoKick’s parent company, the Haypp Group. “As a result of this high demand, we are creating new American jobs at our distribution centers and commercial offices while continuing to provide a safer alternative to U.S. tobacco users. Flavor bans undermine this important effort and will result in negative public health outcomes for adult consumers.”
Vegan trend on the stock market
The general interest in vegan eating is ever growing as people realize the long term environmental and ethical benefits of plant-based food. International investment bank UBS expects the global consumption of plant-based alternatives to increase with over 30 % over five years while meat consumption is projected to increase less than 1 % per year.

Los Angeles-based producer Beyond Meat has been one of the most successful vegan companies on the stock market since its IPO last summer, and the competition among vegan products is constantly growing; for instance McDonald’s will introduce their own plant-based burger in 2021. Another acknowledged plant-based producer is Canadian The Very Good Food, with a stock that has risen to 1,600 % of its initial value on the Canadian stock market. The Swedish vegan stocks are yet to experience the same level of success in spite of vegan food being very popular in Sweden and many new companies emerging in the industry each year.
U.S. Election Analysis & Panel Discussion
In collaboration with Hallvarsson & Halvarsson and the American Chamber of Commerce in Sweden, SACC-DC hosted a webinar discussing the outcome of the presidential election and the entailing implications on U.S.-Sweden trade and business relations.

Political analysis
On November 5, our panel of political experts discussed their key takeaways from the election. They provided analyzes of the strategic decisions of the Trump and Biden campaigns and covered the likely political dynamics that the next administration will face, as well as the politics that they will try to enact.

Digital MedTech & Pharma trade delegation Webinar #1
Together with Swecare and SACC-USA, SACC-DC initiated a virtual trade delegation to the U.S. on November 10. Webinar #1 covered the U.S. life science market and the opportunities, challenges and effects of the pandemic.

Webinar with e-commerce nicotine distributor HAYPP GROUP
This exciting webinar was produced in collaboration with HAYPP GROUP and also featured Jim Solyst, regulations consultant to Swedish Match and board member at SACC-DC. The topic covered consumer base research and regulations on the nicotine product market.

At the forefront of sustainable packaging
On November 18, SACC-DC happily presented the first episode of Sustainability Series 2020:
Sustainable Packaging Featuring The Absolut Company and BillerudKorsnäs.

Webinar Opportunities: Sustainability Series 2020
Renewable energy, green financing, bio-based materials, circular economy, sustainable logistics etc. - sustainability is a highly popular topic!

We are currently looking for sponsors and hosts to our Sustainability Webinar Series. There is a great interest in sustainability in our Swedish-American network. Are you and/or your organization a sustainability-enthusiast and wants to update us about the latest innovations within this field? Do not hesitate to host, sponsor and/or participate in a webinar, discussing your topics with other experts and business leaders!

Please contact Business Associate Thea Nguyen at Thea.nguyen@sacc-dc.org for further information!
Renew your individual membership today!

SACC DC organizes many events throughout the year to give our members access to professional networking. Our annual flagship business events include SACC Summit, the Young Professionals program and other corporate events, seminars and workshops. We also tailor trade missions for Swedish companies interested in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.

Whether an individual with a keen interest in or connection with Sweden living in D.C. or a company looking to establish new relationships, we can help you reach your next goal.
Answers to the Swedish trivia and rhymes

Lund Trivia #1: Finn the Giant - The correct answer is A.

Lund Trivia #2: Carl Linnaeus - The correct answer is C.

Lund Trivia #3: Esaias Tegnér - The correct answer is A.

Christmas Rhyme 2014: The correct gift is the smart watch.

Christmas Rhyme 2017: The correct gift is the electric bike

Christmas Rhyme 2018: The correct gift is the recycled garment.
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