International Trade and Global Business


Preparing For a Post-Brexit Trade Market

Countries from the European Union (EU) are not the only ones who’ll be affected by Brexit. In this transparently vulnerable and conflicted time for the British economy, the UK seems to have no choice but to turn to its closest allies in the world market. This includes the U.S., which is already taking steps towards possibly reducing U.S.- UK trade tariffs as well as ensuring that both countries share similar trade standards.

While this will likely shape up to be a favorable situation for us in the U.S., it’s unclear whether this will be good for the long-term future of the UK economy. A no-deal Brexit spells the end of all regular agricultural subsidies to the UK, which it receives from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Although the UK government has promised to replace these vital subsidies in the current Brexit deal, the U.S. government is already taking concrete steps towards the wholesale removal of trade barriers with the UK. Moreover, should the UK move away from EU standards, the potential shift to U.S. standards will no doubt strengthen the U.S.’s position in the international market. For the UK however, this could mean that the country’s agricultural standards will no longer be compatible with the rest of the EU – limiting previously wide-open trading channels.

Furthermore, experts are also highly concerned about how Brexit will affect the state of labor in the post-Brexit UK economy. In November 2018, the British government released its own findings on the matter, which stated that UK’s economy could face the prospect of losing 3.9% in 15 years under Theresa May’s Brexit plan. This means that even if the government’s current proposal pushes through, fewer jobs will be available for British citizens in their own country. Failing to find secure career prospects at home, many out-of-work British professionals could look for employment here in the U.S. Despite all this, May remains adamant about her proposal: “Our deal is the best deal available for jobs and our economy, that allows us to honor the referendum and realize the opportunities of Brexit."

The government findings also reveal that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK economy could shrink by as much as 9.3%. Meanwhile, in contrast to what could be a grim future for labor and trade in the UK, the U.S. job market for business and finance is actually expected to increase. In fact, Maryville University explains how The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be 632,400 more jobs in business and finance by 2024. This means that if a no-deal Brexit does happen, many of these new American jobs could be in sectors that further improve U.S.- UK trade relations. It’s one of the few silver linings in this still developing international economic equation. With long-held political, financial, and economic ties, the U.S. might not be able to afford losing the UK, even as the EU itself seems intent on severing all ties them.

The situation is further complicated by the recent vote rejecting the Prime Minister’s current plan. In a report dated March 12, 2019, CNN reveals that parliament once again voted against May’s proposal. For the foreseeable future, this can either delay Brexit further or just lead to a no-deal Brexit – the repercussions of which have been made devastatingly clear by both sides of the vote. In either case, one thing is for sure; U.S. economists and regulators are already taking the necessary preparations to take full advantage of the situation.

Written by Aliana Kaye
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