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Donald Trump's business-like approach 'could benefit Northern Ireland'

By Margaret Canning

Published 10/11/2016

The Evening Standard hits the streets with the news
The Evening Standard hits the streets with the news
A crestfallen US citizen yesterday
A stockbroker reacts as Donald Trump wins the race for the White House

US President-elect Donald Trump will deploy business instincts more than his limited political experience when he takes office - which could ultimately help the Northern Ireland economy, it's been claimed.

Mr Trump helped soothe rattled UK investor nerves as he pledged to double US economic growth and invest in world-class infrastructure in his victory speech.

London's top flight had sunk more than 2% after the surprise victory before rebounding into positive territory.

The FTSE 100 Index closed up 1%, or 68.71 points to 6,911.84, after dropping more than 140 points at the start of the session.

The pound climbed 0.8% against the US dollar at 1.248 and 1.6% against the euro at 1.140. Mr Trump's victory also sent shares in CRH plc up more than 8%. The Irish company, which owns Northstone in Northern Ireland and is listed in both London and Dublin, is thought to be in line for several big infrastructure projects in the US.

Commentators have said the rhetoric of the President-elect on bringing jobs home from overseas is unlikely to affect US investment in Northern Ireland. In his campaign, he has said he will repatriate US manufacturing jobs which have been moved abroad, and cut America's rate of corporation tax to 15%.

Padraig Cronin, vice-president of business advisory firm Deloitte in Ireland, said that would mean both Northern Ireland and the Republic would need to focus on other attributes to help them attract investment from America rather than relying on low corporation tax.

Ronnie Hanna, who has led trade missions to the US, said jobs in American firms here were less likely to be affected as they'd started out as indigenous firms which were later taken over.

Ulster Unionist MLA Steve Aiken - party spokesman for the economy - said the US was likely to start taking a tough line on trade and tariff issues with the European Union. "Paradoxically, the UK's Brexit position may help us gain some trade advantage," he said.

Mark O'Connell, head of inward investment advisers OCO Global, said: "I trust Donald Trump's instincts as a businessman ahead of his political experience, and we can probably rely on him not to make decisions that are damaging to US economic interests."

Belfast Telegraph

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