Despite US President Donald Trump prematurely claiming victory in the US presidential election and falsely claiming fraud has been committed on the American public, the race to the White House is still very much on. As we wait for the final result, we look at the reactions and insights from the accountancy profession
4 November 2020
French Duncan: What the potential outcomes of the US election could mean for Scotland’s economy
HLB member firm French Duncan’s managing partner Graeme Finnie comments on the possible outcomes of the US election and what it could mean for Scotland’s economy: “How the 2020 US election outcome affects Scotland’s economy and SME community could be largely dependent on the impact it has on trade negotiations. Outside the EU, the US is Scotland’s biggest trading partner, and excluding exports, to the rest of the UK. At the moment, trade negotiations with the US are understood to be at an advanced stage. If the US Administration changes to a Biden and Democratic administration, we could see these negotiations pause as Biden’s team works out how they want to take them forward.
“On the other hand, given President Trump’s ‘America First’ rhetoric, it may be that a trade deal with Biden is a more favourable one for Scotland’s business community. Scotland should continue to position itself as a nation with strong and significant trading opportunities, playing the long game to deliver a favourable result irrespective of whomever is in residency in the White House.
“Clearly Scotland and the other devolved administrations are not at the negotiating table as the discussions are being led by the UK Government. This raises the question of whether the sometimes fractious relationship between Holyrood and Westminster will, in this case, actually work against the Scottish interest.
“Of course, any period of uncertainty or legal wrangling’s over the result will only further delay these negotiations, and so the swifter a result is confirmed the better for everyone.”
Delay of the US election result is a dilemma for the UK’s Brexit deal
A legal challenge of the US election result will cause a dilemma for the UK Government in deciding on a UK/ EU Brexit Deal, suggests tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.
Partner at the firm and chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany Alex Altman said: “The negotiations with the EU are in the final round and a trade deal is close. The EU wants a deal to be agreed by 13 November to have enough time for the lengthy ratification process with their member states. The die has been cast and it is time to finalise the deal now.
“The prospect of a quick UK/US trade deal is in jeopardy now and does not help the UK’s negotiation position with the EU. The UK certainly lost some leverage with the unclear US election result. The prospect of a Biden White House is real, who wants to see the Irish Good Friday agreement protected by a Brexit deal before negotiating a UK/US trade deal. This will severely impact the UK government’s negotiating position.
“A Brexit deal announced next week would boost the rattled UK economy and might increase the chances of a swift US/UK trade deal in 2021. If the UK Government wants to avoid two “no-deals”, it needs to come to terms and finalise the negotiations with the EU now.”