Trump and the UK versus the EU

February 15, 2017

What does the election of President Trump mean for European business. On the surface the new President it’s fair to say is derided by traditional European media.  It’s anyone’s guess as to the validity of that perspective but a sanguine summary might be more accurate to say that it’s good for the UK economy and not so much for what’s left of the European Union.

 

An apparent Anglophile at heart the President has left little ambiguity in his comments about his ‘dislike’ of the EU, and in contrast to his predecessors he is likely to have felt Brexit as a personal win plus with his own election he would surely feel he is two zip up so far.

 

To Trumps’s advantage though is the change in sentiment of the British Government towards UK trading patterns away from the centralised failing club of the EU towards the Commonwealth and the United States. Whatever format Brexit finally takes it is likely that the remaining EU countries will be less favourable to British exports, a quite defeatist view given that the EU exports twice the value in goods to the UK than it imports.

 

As critical as anything else, the EU businesses though are heavily dependent on the financial markets of London. The exchanges of Paris and Frankfurt are not even in the top 30 of world markets by value of trade. For this reason alone the UK will be central to the European economy going forward.

 

It’s telling that despite the UK membership of the EU for the past 40 years the UK’s largest trading partner is still the United States, despite the difficulty for trade with non EU countries that membership has caused. None of the existing trade between the UK and US is threatened by Brexit, but EU trade with the UK will inevitably become more complex to happen which can only open the doors for US based commerce to replace it.

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