Belfast Telegraph

Donald Trump poll bombshell may test US economic relations with rest of the world

Analysis

By Aine Brolly

The US has been a strong supporter and enabler of economic growth and prosperity for both Northern Ireland and the Republic for many years. However, yesterday’s presidential election result may potentially present new challenges to the rest of the world’s relationship with the US.

Like Brexit, the fall in currency, in this case the dollar, and the subsequent impact on the financial markets reflects the uncertainty that this result has imposed.  The issue is that the election was light on policy, heavy on personality with the economic strategy that Donald Trump did set out being very US-centric. 

The President-elect is proposing protectionist-focused policies with the potential for a realignment of trade agreements and changes in trade and tax policy, threatening import tariffs with considerable implications for the wider global environment.

After Europe, the US is our most vital market. From my time in San Francisco with Invest NI, I know how critical the US market is to local businesses large and small.

A major overhaul of corporate tax was also promised by Donald Trump in his fight to “keep jobs at home”, with a commitment to cut the corporation tax rate to 15% and look at ways to get US companies to repatriate some of the $2trillion they have positioned overseas.

Although a lack of detail remains, it is clear that a Trump presidency will encourage US companies to invest at home, rather than overseas.

A significant cut in US corporation tax makes the US more competitive and limits the effectiveness of a new rate of 12.5% in Northern Ireland.

It has been a year of uncertainty for the business community. This is all the more reason to ensure that Northern Ireland is positioned as a stable, dynamic environment in which to do business.

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