Duncan Edwards, CEO of BritishAmerican Business, was one of four guest panelists participating in a discussion around the current landscape of transatlantic trade and investment between the United States and United Kingdom, one of many panels taking place at the City Week 2018 Conference: “Securing Continuity Against a Backdrop of Global Change.”
Speaking to the theme of the panel, US AND UK: Developments in the ‘special relationship,’ Edwards warned the audience that we should be careful about unintended consequences.
“Don’t let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of what is already good. We should be careful chasing a better trade environment than the one we currently enjoy and risk ending with a worse one,” Edwards said. He also spoke about general US economic policy.
“Whether you agree with them or not there are a set of coherent policies forming intended to drive economic growth in the US… When it comes to trade there’s a certain irony in America being labelled protectionist compared to the EU or China” Edwards explained.
But he also underscored the relationship between the US and UK as one of the most successful in history.
“The UK-US trade & investment corridor is the most valuable bilateral economic relationship in the world – its importance is embedded in the psyche of those in both countries.”
Of the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the effect they have had on companies who currently operate in the UK, Edwards was quick to point out how companies who conduct transatlantic business are focusing less on ideology and more on strategy.
“Business is pragmatic, not ideological; Businesses in the financial sector are telling us they will move as many people into the EU as is necessary but no more than is needed. American companies will continue to view the UK as a great place to run their operations from,” he added.
Edwards was joined by panel moderator Chris Newlands, Editor, Financial News, Tim Bowler, President, ICE Benchmark Administration, Michael Cole-Fontayn, Chairman, AFME and Chairman Designate, CISI, and Catherine McGuinness, Chairman, Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation.