What do UK bosses make of Donald Trump’s victory?

A trader points to a the trading terminal screen showing the S&P 500 Index, as he works at ETX Capital in central London on November 9, 2016, following the result of the US presidential election

Donald Trump’s unexpected election victory over his rival Hillary Clinton came at the end of one of the most bruising US presidential election campaigns of recent years.

But what will the business mogul do when he takes office in January, and what will be the impact of his economic policies on the UK economy and British businesses?

We asked a selection of chief executives, business leaders and financial analysts to tell the BBC how they see a Donald Trump presidency.


Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive and founder, advertising agency WPP

Effectively a second Brexit that leaves many very surprised, including the markets and me.

It’s going to take a significant amount of time to assess the implications beyond the short term.

Increased levels of uncertainty will mean more hesitation to make important decisions in the short term, both by people and governments. But it may accelerate implementation of helpful reforms in the medium term to reduce uncertainty and stimulate investment as a result.

Clearly immigration, trade and terrorism were key issues that swayed electoral opinion in a very significant way, just as they did in the UK, and probably will in the European referendums and elections to come.

There will now be a lot of reassessment, including of polling techniques. Electorates at times like these clearly don’t like to be told how they’re going to vote, especially by the media and other elites.

Iain Conn, chief executive, Centrica, owners of British Gas

What is clear from this vote, and similarly the Brexit vote last June, is that while globalisation may have been on average good for the world, it has also left many people behind.

We have to listen to this, and business, government and civil society will need to map a path forward together.

The subject of social inequality is one shared by the UK and the US, and perhaps should be part of the agenda for the special relationship between our two countries.

Terry Scuoler, chief executive, manufacturers’ organisation EEF

Given the importance of the United States as a market, taking around 12% of UK goods exports, British manufacturers have a keen interest in the health of the US economy.

In the light of uncertainty around Brexit it is important that we avoid further economic fallout and I hope the new administration will move quickly to reassure and work with its traditional allies to re-affirm longstanding and positive relationships.

Britain has always enjoyed a close political, economic and military relationship with the United States and it is vital that this continues.

Given the United States’ traditional role as a pioneer of free and fair trade, I hope the new President will ensure that he continues to champion this ethos.”

Ben Digby, international director, Confederation of British Industry

British business has been keeping a close eye on the race for the White House, and congratulates the President-elect.

The UK is the largest foreign investor in America, and British companies support over a million jobs in the US, stretching from Alaska to New York.

As the UK and the USA’s economic special relationship continues to go from strength to strength, we hope that the President-elect is committed to building on, and developing, this unique political and trading partnership.

Firms are keen to understand more about Mr Trump’s trade policies. Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, we need to do everything we can to make it easier to trade, invest and drive prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.

David Jane, fund manager, Miton Asset Management

Donald Trump, and the Republicans controlling both the House and Senate, is the result that markets least expected. What we do know is that his policies will be broadly inflationary. Whether it is his protectionist policies, controlling immigration or investment in infrastructure, all point to a more inflationary tendency.

Demand is likely to be higher for natural resources as a consequence of the infrastructure spend he is likely to make, although we doubt he will be building a wall between the US and Mexico.

If he manages to introduce tariffs on certain imports, this will also lead to higher prices in the US. That said, it’s not clear whether he will be able to implement such policies as the rest of his party are very pro-business and vested interests will be strongly against anything that damages US business interests.

He also wants to control immigration, particularly illegal immigration. Clearly, the effect of immigration is to put downward pressure on wages, so it is also inflationary at the margin and in the longer term.

As a populist he is certain to favour policies, in whatever area, that benefit the masses or at least are perceived to do so. While we doubt he is likely to be as populist as certain southern European or Latin American leaders of the past, we expect the tone to move in that direction.


[Source:- BBC]