US Election: Have your say
It’s now a few weeks since Republican Donald Trump won the US presidential election; a businessman known more recently as a reality TV figure, and with no political background who is now set to become the American president in January.
His victory over the democratic candidate Hilary Clinton defied expectations, and has had an immediate impact on the global economy, before he has even taken office.
A few months ago, we asked members of our Business Voice panel, made up of representatives from all kinds of small businesses, how they felt about the American election and how they felt the results might affect their business.
Among the businesses we surveyed:
43% were interested in US politics, but only 22% felt concerned about the effect that the presidential election might have on their business.
In the final days before the election took place, we opened a forum on our Business Voice panel, and invited members to share their thoughts and opinions as events unfolded in the final stage of this historic presidential campaign.
This wordcloud shows some of the overriding reactions and sentiments of our panel members:
Here are some selected (but hopefully balanced!) comments:
“Now that the results are in and Trump is President, it shows that the Americans are a bit fed up of their situation and have taken the gamble with him. I hope it works out for their good. I don’t think it will affect my business in any way, shape or form.”
“Very disappointed. Both in the electoral college system (which elected Trump even though Clinton won more people’s votes) and in the attitude of voters.”
“Very much looking forward to welcoming President Trump into The White House in January.”
“When America becomes isolationist, bad things happen. This has happened twice before. In both the UK and US rabble-rousers have let the genies of hate out of the bottle, it will be very hard to seal it again. I fail to understand how a country with a huge population could have chosen two candidates, both in their way, so unsuitable. Yes the implications will affect my business, the dollar has slumped and is likely to continue to do so.”
“It is a little like when Brexit was announced, I’m a little in shock. Surely these two were not the best that the US could offer. I just don’t believe it makes the US look very sensible!”
“Surprised by the result, but can understand why the American people are sick of the status quo and voted for change. I think people underestimated just how dangerous Hillary Clinton would have been. Relations with Russia would have deteriorated even further, for a start. It won’t affect my business. Think it will be good for Anglo American relations and may result in a better Brexit outcome for us.”
The main concern from a business perspective seems to be the volatility of both the dollar and sterling, as these affect the price of goods imported from overseas; but also how competitive our prices are when selling to overseas customers. Other common worries are Mr Trump’s approach to foreign policy and the possibility of global conflict.
However, many people are optimistic about Trump’s potential, claiming that his business experience and anti-establishment attitude are just what America needs.
Trump is certainly no stranger to controversy, and is used to polarising opinion – a tactic that succeeded in winning him a lot of media attention during his campaign. Can he use this platform to bring unity to a divided nation?
Time will tell – and the new president certainly has a lot to prove to silence his critics, which will make for an interesting 4 years at the very least.
If the current uncertainty is causing problems for your business, take a look at this post and Don’t Panic!
How do you feel about the American election result? Feel free to have your say in the comments below.