Fresh from an economic development trip to Ireland that coincided with Britain’s vote to exit the European Union, Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday the decision could have a negative impact on Tennessee.
Further from The Tennessean:
“I’m concerned — I think we have a fairly tenuous international economy, and I think this is one of those things that will be a negative,” Haslam told reporters Monday after making an appearance at the National Charter Schools Conference in Nashville. “Ultimately in Tennessee we’re connected to that same economy, and we hope there’s no eventual repercussions here.”
The United Kingdom is Tennessee’s fourth-largest foreign investor, with 96 companies doing business in the state and nearly 11,000 jobs tied to those investments, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic Development.
The governor pointed out that there were already negative repercussions to the vote last week, highlighting the declining stock market prices. The British pound fell to its lowest value since the 1970s.
“As trade agreements become more tenuous, obviously that puts some of that at risk,” he said.
Haslam said that while traveling in Ireland, along with state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, he discovered that “a lot of members of their parliament” thought the vote would actually go the other way.
Since returning home, Haslam noted there has been “quite a bit of buyer’s remorse.” …”It feels like there are a lot of folks who voted for that who said maybe we were too hasty there,” Haslam said.
Note: The governor’s comments are perhaps something of a contrast with those of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, who has been backing Donald Trump’s view that the Brexit vote was a good thing. Previous post HERE.