In light of the U.K.‘s vote to leave the EU, experts from the nonpartisan Stimson Center released the following statements and are available for comment on the implications that the Brexit vote could have on trade — including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and EU as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiated among twelve Pacific Rim countries. The U.K. government estimated that TTIP would have injected up to £10 billion into the U.K. economy. President Obama recently remarked that Britain would find itself at the “back of the queue” when drawing up any potential post-Brexit trade deals with the U.S., if the U.K. voted to leave the EU.
Nathaniel F. Olson, Director, Trade21, Stimson Center
“This is not going to be a fun ride. Where exactly it leads in six months, two years, five years is impossible to know — the day-after posturing already makes that clear. Yet one simple thing we do know is that what happens next can make things either better or worse. For its part, the U.S. has urgent work do on several fronts. A bilateral deal with the U.K. must now be a priority. The U.S. also should make a strong push to salvage the TTIP. And the TPP has become even more important. It would go far in securing the kind of rules-based trading system that the U.K.’s decision threatens to throw off-course for Europe and the wider world.”
William Reinsch, Distinguished Fellow, Stimson Center
“It’s sad to see the British turn their backs on their thousand year history of looking outwards. They will likely come to regret it, but in the short-term it falls on us to pick up the pieces and move on. Now is the time for the U.S. to stand firm in recognizing the interconnected world we all live in and the role a strong, rules-based trading system plays in it. That means reaffirming our commitment to the E.U. and concluding TTIP and pushing ahead with approving TPP. It also means making a firm commitment to the U.K. and the reaffirmation of the special relationship we have long had. President Obama may have put them in the back of the queue when it comes to negotiating a trade agreement, but he should put that aside and move quickly to work out a bilateral agreement that builds on our relationship.”