US Chamber of Commerce says nonchalance over tariffs is “nonsense”


US businesses have said they will refrain from investing in the UK if access to the single market is lost, according to a US Chamber of Commerce report.

Speaking to the FT, Marjorie Chorlins, the chamber’s vice-president for European affairs, said US companies “are looking long and hard at whether it makes sense to continue to expand their investment in the UK”.

Already some US businesses have indicated that, without continued seamless free market access to Europe, investment and hiring decisions likely would favour other locations.

The lobby group represents businesses with over $590 billion of investments in the UK.

The Washington-based trade association writes in the report, which has yet to be published, that it is “nonsense” to expect that leaving the single market would come at a low cost.

In the real world of business, margins for tradeable goods are razor thin, and even a so-called ‘nuisance’ tariff of 3 per cent can make or break a sale.

The report comes a day after Michael Froman, the US President’s chief trade representative, said the US would not enter trade talks with the UK until it had agreed its relationship with the EU.

So much for Boris Johnson’s line that he is pro-cake and pro-eating cake.


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