What does a new President of the United States mean for the Midlands?

Joe Biden has different policies to Donald Trump - particularly regarding trade and international relations - which could affect the Midlands Credit: PA

Although Donald Trump is yet to concede, Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States when he's sworn in next year.

As President Elect he's rung the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, where it's thought they discussed tackling climate change, promoting democracy and building back from the pandemic.

Democrat Joe Biden is already beginning work so how might his ideas and policies affect the Midlands?


Trade

It's all tangled up between Brexit, the Special Relationship, and work already underway on a trade deal between the UK and the US, Professor David Bailey from Birmingham Business School explains.

With Biden at the White House, it's much more likely that our ongoing talks with the EU will result in a deal.

Biden has made it clear that if there's no trade deal, and if that threatens peace in Northern Ireland, then he won't do a deal with the UK.

If we didn't get a deal with the EU, then export tariffs would be imposed on Midlands companies sending their goods to Europe - at 10% for JLR, at 12% for ceramics manufacturers, says Professor Bailey.

Professor Julian Beer, President of the Birmingham Transatlantic Chamber says 3000 firms export from the West Midlands to the US, that's £12500 of goods and services a minute exported there.


3000 firms

export from the West Midlands to the US

£12500

of goods and services exported every minute to the US


Special Relationship

The Special Relationship between our two countries has always rested on shared values, and also the personal relationship between prime minister and president. Boris Johnson and Joe Biden have never met.

Biden's thoughts on Brexit have made some wonder if the relationship will be strained. Along with the fact that Biden is thought to view Johnson as an ally of Trump in some ways.

But, Mr Johnson is thought to have been the first European world leader Mr Biden has spoken to since his election win.


The Environment

Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, which brings countries together to tackle climate change.

With the United States back in the game, it will be harder for smaller countries and their businesses to argue that their efforts are negligible.

This week the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce launched their Sustainable East Midlands campaign, encouraging businesses to get involved in green initiatives so they can contribute and benefit fully from the government's 'Build Back Greener' initiative, for a world after Coronavirus.

Dawn Edwards, President of the Chamber, is warning businesses to get their green credentials in order, so they can be part of the supply chain for any green infrastructure projects created to boost the economy after the pandemic.

Consumers are becoming more discerning, they're almost requiring their suppliers to show they're doing the right things to look after the planet, and each other, and generally kinder.

Dawn Edwards, President, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce

db automation hope to grow their US relationship Credit: db automation

Nick Parker is the Managing Director of db automation in Lutterworth in Leicestershire, where they use robotics to automate clients' production processes.

The US is their major export market; in 2019 it was 60% of their turnover, so it's important that things remain stable.

They've got big plans for the future, including expansion in the US. They want to export more, and open a support and service arm of the business out there - to complement existing remote support for their machinery.

It would be really good to see a strong trade partnership built up

"It would be really good to see a strong trade partnership built up, through the changes of Brexit. It would be good to see a trade deal that would encourage the US to consider us even more and make us even more attractive to potential businesses out there to invest in UK automation - we're very good at it as a country and the US hold us in very high esteem."

- Nick Parker, MD, db automation


What does it mean for the UK?

  • The new President of the United States is one of the topics debated by Midlands politicians on the November 2020 edition of Central Lobby - tonight at 11pm on ITV.