By Gökhan Kurtaran
London letter, week beginning Nov. 14

-Trumph’s triumph might be good for U.K. Brexit negotiations

Despite the gloomy picture of last week’s surprise victory of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, some opportunities for the U.K. government Brexit’s negotiations may arise as U.S. president Barrack Obama was not very fond of having a separate trade deal on the table with the U.K. without the EU’s involvement.  Obama’s remarks before the EU referendum said that the U.K. would be at the back of the queue for trade deals with the U.S.  Following the referendum result, his remarks were echoed by U.S. Ambassador in London Matthew Barzun.

“The point was, you are at the front of the queue right now – he [Obama] was saying back in April – because we are doing this big trade deal with the European Union, [Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)] of which you are a member,” Barzun said.

However, Trump’s victory in the U.S. might alter U.S. trade relations with Europe as he has previously asked for more import tariffs and has looked at gaining more advantages for American industrialists and exporters. Last week, speaking at the European Council today, EC President Donald Tusk said the result of the U.S. election would bring with it "uncertainty of transatlantic relations".

Moreover, speaking in Brussels, Cecilia Malmstroem, the EU Trade Commissioner, said the “TTIP will probably be in the freezer for quite some time”, but the question is then what will happen when it is defrosted. When asked about Trump’s vocal opposition to the TTIP, she added: “We don’t know what he thinks about the TTIP.”

-What will Trump’s election mean for future of U.K.-U.S. trade?

Despite differences of approach in politics and foreign affairs between the U.K. and U.S., some opportunities to have separate trade deals between the U.K. and U.S could even be reached faster than a possible deal between the U.S. and the EU. A deal between the U.S. and U.K. will only require the vote of the two parliaments’ approval, unlike 27 serving national parliaments in the EU. If, despite the call for early elections in the U.K., the government successfully navigates its way in domestic political matters, it might start negotiations with the U.S. while waiting to trigger Article 50 to start the Brexit process. Extending the timeline to trigger Article 50 might give the Conservative government time to bring home some viable trade deals with the U.S., India and China.

Nonetheless, trade deals can take years to complete, but even an announcement of the start of trade deal talks with these nations might send a more positive message for the current economic outlook.

With the U.K.’s willingness to negotiate with emerging nations and the U.S., May was accompanied by a business delegation in early November to visit New Delhi for her first bilateral visit outside Europe in her role as PM. As one of Asia's fastest-growing economies and a former U.K. colony, India is seen as a clear interest for a post-Brexit U.K.  However, it remains to be seen whether May will make a move to strike a U.S.-U.K. trade deal while Trump is putting the TTIP deal on the shelf with Europe.

14 Nov,2016