The UK vs US
09 November 2016
Now Donald Trump has been officially elected the 45th President of the United States, Britain asks how its economy and people will be affected.
With Trump now seated at the White House, the balance of power in Europe hangs on a precipice.
The UK has always maintained a ‘special relationship’ with America and there is hope this may continue.
Prime Minister Theresa May gave a statement after Donald Trump was elected and in it she remains optimistic:
“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the next President of the United States, following a hard-fought campaign.
“Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise.
“We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence.
“I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”
Since making this statement, the Prime Minister has personally spoken with Donald Trump and a Downing street spokesperson had the following to say:
“The Prime Minister spoke to US President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him on his hard-fought election campaign and victory. The President-elect said he very much looked forward to working with the Prime Minister and congratulated her on her recent appointment.
“The Prime Minister and President-elect Trump agreed that the US-UK relationship was very important and very special, and that building on this would be a priority for them both. President-elect Trump set out his close and personal connections with, and warmth for, the UK. He said he was confident that the special relationship would go from strength to strength.
“The Prime Minister expressed her commitment to building and expanding the UK’s relationships around the world, particularly after the referendum vote, and the importance of our partnership with the US. She noted President-elect Trump’s commitment in his acceptance speech to uniting people across America, which she said is a task we all need to focus on globally.
“The Prime Minister said that we have a long history of shared values and added that she looked forward to that continuing in the future.
“She highlighted her wish to strengthen bilateral trade and investment with the US as we leave the EU. But she said that our relationship is so much more than that and our 2 countries have always stood together as close allies when it counts the most. President-elect Trump strongly agreed and added that the UK is a “very, very special place for me and for our country”.
“The call ended with President-elect Trump inviting the Prime Minister to visit him as soon as possible.”
There are those, however, who do not remain as hopeful about a steady relationship between the UK and the US. David Cameron has said in the past that Trump is “divisive, stupid and wrong” and there was a heated debate in Parliament about possibly banishing Trump from visiting the UK.
The tides of change are upon us and America now no longer needs the UK in the way it once did.
Dr Rob Dover from the School of History, Politics and International Relations comments on this:
“The election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency introduces an unusual period of uncertainty into international security and intelligence affairs. Whilst Secretary Clinton was the continuity candidate for international security, her opponent is - if his election rhetoric is to be believed - the disruption candidate.
“Looking more widely, Trump has poured cold water on the notion of international trade deals, so the TTIP deal with the EU is even less likely to happen now than it has seemed for the past six months and for a BREXIT Britain his election may equally mean an accelerated trade deal to rescue an isolated UK, or a refusal to extend preferential terms as part of isolationism to embed the UK's difficult position.
“Either way, there is now radical uncertainty introduced into the international system as a result of Trump's election. We can only hope that as an experienced Chief Executive, Mr Trump surrounds himself with good advisers.”
The UK200Group – the UK’s leading membership association of chartered accountancy and law firms – has asked its members, who collectively act as trusted business advisers to 150,000 SMEs, how Donald Trump’s election victory is likely to affect the UK’s economy.
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. The US already makes it difficult for the importation of some goods, especially software and some cutting-edge technologies such as pharmaceutical products and things such as biosimilars (synthesised human hormones etc). A more protectionist President won’t seek to reduce barriers, he will seek to increase them. This will set back technological advances by years and harm much of the intangible capital the UK has to offer.
“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.”
Fellow UK200Group member Charles Olley, Partner of accountants Price Bailey offers an alternative opinion:
“I am 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. Perhaps he will be able to point Philip Hammond at some of ours.”
Another important area for consideration is technology. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation has produced a report on President-Elect Trump's Positions on Technology and Innovation Policy. The report provides an overview of the general philosophy that the president-elect has articulated on technology, innovation and trade policy, then examines his policy positions across eight specific issue areas.
Click here to read the report.