Print
More News

British Consul: Post-Brexit Trade Deals Could Bolster North Carolina Economy

By Jenny Callison, posted Apr 1, 2019
The United Kingdom is an important trading partner for North Carolina, so the ultimate nature of the U.K.’s exit from the European Union could have consequences for the state.

That was one point that Andrew Terrell emphasized in a talk he gave Monday to a roomful of business, education and local government leaders in Wilmington City Council Chambers at City Hall. Terrell, the new U.K. Consul for Government & Prosperity and head of the new U.K. Government Office in Raleigh, made his presentation under the auspices of Wilmington’s Foreign Trade Promotion Council (FTPC).

In introducing Terrell, FTPC executive director John Hayes said that 34,000 jobs in North Carolina are directly related to British firms. Because of Wilmington’s port, airport and Foreign Trade Zone, the area’s business community can have an international impact, he said.

Terrell added a few more specifics, saying that in 2016, $1.3 billion of North Carolina goods were exported to the United Kingdom. That same year, 14,500 North Carolina jobs were supported by exports to the U.K.

“North Carolina is a key state for the U.K.,” he said.

Terrell gave his audience a brief recap of the Brexit process and milestones, starting with the referendum vote in June 2016 that launched the U.K.’s journey toward separation. He emphasized that the Brexit is a process for which there are rules and encouraged attendees to “not get caught up in political drama.”

As part of that process, Britain is focusing internally as well as externally, looking at its supply chain, according to Terrell, who added that individual businesses also are examining their supply chains and have improved their efficiencies, strengthening both exporting and non-exporting businesses in the country.

U.K. officials are also listening to its business community to learn what has alienated them from the business environment that exists now with the E.U. One major complaint, Terrell said, is the unequal distribution of resources, which has left some of the country’s former manufacturing centers at a disadvantage.

The U.K. will also look at bolstering its fundamentals, such as education and workforce development, and aiming to be “best in class” in industries where it has clear strengths, Terrell said. Forging good bilateral trade deals is central to ensuring prosperity for an economically independent Britain, he explained, adding that the U.S. and the U.K. each has a $1 trillion investment in the other.

“I believe North Carolina is poised to get a bigger share of that $3 trillion,” he said, saying further that the two countries’ mutual trade “can only be strengthened through a free trade agreement. There is interest in robust trade deals. We’ve been having scoping discussions [with the U.S.] for the past year and a half, looking at opportunities and risks.”

Terrell said that U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have been “very receptive” in those talks.

The changes in rules governing U.S.-U.K. trade resulting from Brexit could open up opportunities – and challenges – for North Carolina, said Adam Jones, associate professor of economics at University of North Carolina Wilmington. Jones, who attended the FTPC event, pointed to agriculture as as area in which new regulations could have a positive impact.

“For the more urban areas, the coast, [Brexit] will not have such a big effect,” he said after Terrell’s talk Monday. “[Brexit] will be less of an issue for companies in Wilmington.”
 
Terrill will speak about Brexit and its possible outcomes again Monday evening at 6 p.m. at the New Hanover County Library in downtown Wilmington. The talk is free of charge and open to the public.

This version of the story corrects to $1 trillion the amount of  investment that the U.S. and the U.K. each has in the other.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Carolinemontgomery4

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Update

Caroline Montgomery - Adam Shay CPA, PLLC
Dallas headshot 300x300

The Process Of Selling Your Business Has Already Begun

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors
Aaeaaqaaaaaaaaidaaaajdhiztrkodm0lte2yjetngrkmy1hotrmltawmdvlmwqyztmymw

In The (New) Beginning…Genesis Block

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Trending News

NHRMC Plans $210M Hospital In Scotts Hill

Neil Cotiaux - Oct 19, 2020

Apartments, Townhomes Coming In New Project At Echo Farms

Cece Nunn - Oct 19, 2020

Bitty & Beau's Owners Announce First Franchise Location

Jessica Maurer - Oct 20, 2020

At Mayfaire Town Center, School Of Rock Gets Ready To Roll

Cece Nunn - Oct 20, 2020

Wilmington-based Innovative Financial Group Announces Partnership

Christina Haley O'Neal - Oct 20, 2020

In The Current Issue

Health Care Heroes: Health Care Executive

The Health Care Executive category honors an individual whose job performance is considered exemplary by people within their organizations,...


An Election Like No Other

Like everything about 2020, this year’s elections are a little more com­plicated than they used to be, and there’s a lot at stake in the out...


Wilmington Rail Trail Stays On Track

A master plan for the Wilmington Rail Trail, which will transform rail beds into a public corridor for foot and bicycle traffic, is on its w...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`