Leading advisors to British businesses have reacted to the American presidential vote and speculated that international firms could find it harder to export to the US in future.
Members of the UK2000 Group, which collectively advise more than 150,000 SMEs, said the impact of the election vote was particularly significant given that the US is often seen as a barometer for trends in the UK.
Liz Ward, principal at UK200Group member firm Virtuoso Legal, said: “I have real concerns that the US will harden its position on international trade and it will become more difficult for overseas businesses to take their goods and services to the US market.”
She added that the US already makes it difficult for the importation of some goods, and that a more “protectionist” President won’t seek to reduce barriers, but increase them.
“This will set back technological advances by years and harm much of the intangible capital the UK has to offer,” she said. “I also suspect that a Trump administration will undermine real progress in green technology generally. Trump has already dismissed global warming and there will be no encouragement of reducing carbon emissions under his administration. Again, this is another area where the UK has leading scientific advancement to offer.”
Tim Watkins, managing director of UK200Group member Randall & Payne, said the business community thrives on certainty, and at the moment it has a number of doubts about the future. “A victory for the Republicans may mean we are nearer the front of the queue for a post-Brexit trade deal but perhaps we can expect an element of isolationism on the part of the US going forward,” he said.
James Abbott, managing director at accountants Abbott Moore and president of the UK200Group, said that with such a polarising result, he us concerned by the implications of having such a significant part of the USA that adamantly disagrees with the outcome of this election. “I don’t want to over-emphasise the significance of that, but it must affect behaviour. That creates the risk of more uncertainty, which has implications for economies the world over.”
But fellow UK2000Group member Charles Olley of Price Bailey said he was delighted that Donald Trump has been elected. “Career politicians who spend their lives inventing policies and rules for everyone else again feel the wrath of the voters, just as they did or should do with the Brexit vote. There is so much waste to come out of both the US and UK administrations and wider public economy, and I feel sure Donald will find some of it.”