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Trump election a 'particularly big threat' to business in Northern Ireland

Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech in New York following his confirmation as winner in the US presidential election 

DONALD Trump's election as US President-elect could have serious implications for tens of thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland.

That's if the Republican makes good on his pledge to repatriate overseas jobs back to the United States.

Among his key economic pledges was to repatriate more than trillion dollars in overseas profits at a rate of 10 per cent.

There are around 200 American companies operating in the north, employing between them more than 20,000 people.

In the manufacturing sector alone, big names such as Caterpillar, Terex and Astec are all American-owned.

Meanwhile, Asda, which has 5,000 people on its payroll making it one of the north's biggest employers, is owned by American retail giant Walmart.

Other major employers include call centre Concentrix with 1,800 workers and insurance provider Allstate, which employs more than 2,000 people in the north.

Analysts have suggested uncertainty around a Trump presidency could put other US investors, already jittery following the Brexit vote, off coming to Northern Ireland.

The future also looks more difficult for the many firms from the north that have operations in America, such as Almac or CDE Global.

And for others that import to the United States, that could become a more costly affair in the future.

Christian Stadler of Warwick Business School said Trump's victory "brings a similar uncertainty as Brexit did".

"We simply don't know which of his campaign promises will translate into policy," he said.

"For UK business it is a particularly big threat as trade with Europe is likely to decline as a result of Brexit, so companies have to offset business losses, but the US will also be a more difficult place to trade with.

"Trump has spoken out against free trade, so expect a dramatic rise in import duty in some industries, such as steel."

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