Whatever your political leanings, I’m sure you’ll agree that the recent election in the USA has been “interesting” and the outcome has shocked even the most cynical commentators. The polls got it massively wrong and it seems that the USA has voted for change.
As contractor accountants, we speak with many of the freelance workers that operate in various industries across the UK (and abroad), and there is a great deal of uncertainty out there. Trump certainly polarises opinion on his policies but is there a chance that there could be some positive outcomes for contractors to come from his victory?
A businessman leading the free world
One the biggest changes is the fact that President Elect Trump is not a politician and has never held any form of elected office – clearly this fact has been at least in part instrumental in his appeal to many of his supporters.
So instead of the “Leader of the Free World” being a career politician or a lawyer, come January we will see a businessman in charge.
Trump CEO and business leader judgment
Plenty of people have said plenty of things about Trump’s business dealings and not all of it (or indeed much of it) has been positive. There has been talk of conflicts of interest and lack of transparency but there have also been plenty of success stories. You have to assume that he has become successful (and filthy rich) by making a lot of sound business decisions.
The question has to be whether he will adapt to his new “business” and will the decisions he makes in the future benefit the UK and particular the ever expanding Flexible Workforce.
The “special relationship”
Whilst a great deal of Trump’s rhetoric has been protectionist in tone, he has made it clear that he is pro-UK and supports Brexit. OK, Theresa May might have been at the back of the queue when the post result phone calls were being made, but in the call he said that there was a dear place in his heart for the UK and that our “special relationship” would be strengthened.
Protectionism is traditionally bad for economic growth and yet Trump wants to expand trade deals. Is it a case of what Donald says is not what Donald does?
We can but hope.
A change of tone
It was Obama who said that the UK would be at the back of the queue for trade deals if we left the EU however Trump has made it clear that we would be firmly at the front.
Let’s assume that Donald is morphing into a politician (and the signs are there already with the watering down of many of his campaign promises) and he does look to closer trade ties with the UK.This could potentially offset some of the issues that leaving the EU may bring. It might even be an advantage in negotiations with the EU post Brexit if we are on good terms with the USA.
Growth in the USA could mean growth in the UK
Trump has promised to “Make America Great Again” and has given examples of how he plans to do this:
- Spend heavily on infrastructure
- Repatriate trillions of Dollars from US companies sheltering cash offshore
- Borrow heavily to grow
If his plans work and we see the growth he is promising then this will create opportunities for UK contractors in the USA. How this will affect the UK flexible workforce remains to be seen. Needless to say, we will be keeping an eye on things.