Will the Trump Effect Boost ‘Made-in-Britain’ Manufacturing?
In the wake of Donald Trump's US presidential win, Cradley Heath-based manufacturing firm, Howells Patent Glazing, is considering what impact the new presidency will have on the economy and their 40 year-old, family-run business.
A large proportion on the UK's relationship with the US is built on trade. Before the EU referendum, President Obama stated that the UK would be put to the "back of the queue" for US trade deals if they voted out of the EU. However, Trump stated that it would make no difference if the UK is in the EU or not, and that he was keen to strike a new trade deal with the UK.
Trump's proposed trade policies aren't as good for the UK as they seem and include a 10% tariff on all imports, which could spell trouble for the UK's smaller manufacturers and exporters. The US is the UK's second largest export destination, with around one-fifth of all of our exports landing there, just behind Europe who remain Britain's largest trading partner. With a turbulent, and unpredictable trade year to come in 2017, Howells believes that the effects on the manufacturing industry will mirror the effect Brexit had, but on a larger scale.
Tracey Jackson, marketing manager at Howells Patent Glazing said "With Brexit, we saw a surprising increase in homeowners and local builders taking a hands-on approach to construction by cutting out the middle man.
“With Trump about to take power in the US, and trade relationships uncertain, we believe that the manufacture and supply industry will see a surge in UK businesses searching for products that are made and distributed within the UK. Products made in the UK will stay in the UK, and that's an exciting thing for us here at Howells - as a nation, we will start supporting ‘British Made' goods once again".
Whether Howells's success post-Brexit was an indicator for what is to come for the UK's manufacturing and supply businesses after Trump's election, is yet to be seen. However, the firm remains positive, hoping that the new, self-build and ‘Made-in-Britain' trend will start to change the way the UK construction industry makes money, with UK businesses buying from each other once again.
Tracey Jackson concludes, "It's time for the UK to take back control of its own economy. The only way that we think that will work is for UK businesses to start buying and selling to and from fellow UK business again. It's a good place to start".