Repercussions of ‘Brexit’ reach Philadelphia region

Shipping Containers are seen on deck as the Bahia Castillo

Shipping Containers are seen on deck as the Bahia Castillo

If you are sitting there thinking, I live in South Philly (or South Jersey, or Wilmington). What does the “Brexit” have to do with me? Well, for starters, exports.

“The U.K. market, the EU market overall, is very, very important to the greater Philadelphia area,” said Linda Conlin, president of the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia.

The United Kingdom was the third-largest recipient of goods from Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2015, and the single largest market for exports from Delaware. In total, the U.K. bought $5.3 billion worth of goods from the three states, including coal, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

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But with the pound plummeting in the wake of the “Brexit” vote, regional products suddenly become much more expensive. Plus, no businesses, on either side of the Atlantic, want greater uncertainty.

Still, Conlin doesn’t think the long-term trade relationship is in jeopardy. That sentiment is echoed by other area groups.

“The coming months, and perhaps years, will bring uncertainty and complexity for British and American businesses invested in the U.K. Ultimately, the strength of purpose, common interest and alignment, creativity and hard work of the trans-Atlantic business community will continue to deliver the economic performance that guarantees future prosperity,” wrote Jeffries Briginshaw, CEO of the British-American Business Council, which has a Philadelphia chapter.

“It’s time to dust off, get back to work and show the world that the U.K. remains open for business.”

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