Welsh business leaders have spoken optimistically about Joe Biden’s prospective presidency.
During the latest episode of the Wales Business Review, host Carwyn Jones was joined by regular guests Kellie Beirne, Alwen Williams and Ian Price to discuss what Biden’s presidency could mean for global business.
Joe Biden became the president-elect last week, after news organisations called Pennsylvania a win for him, sealing his victory over Donald Trump.
“When the Biden announcement was made last weekend and I looked at the stock market announcements on Monday, everything seemed to respond well,” said Kellie Beirne, Director at Cardiff Capital Region.
Indeed, Britain’s stock market, the FTSE 100 index, jumped 4.4%, or 260 points, to 6,170, following the news.
“I don’t know what it will mean for the US-China relationship in terms of trade wars because I think Biden has come out quite strongly in terms of holding the bar with the relationship with China – I don’t think he’s going to be a pushover on that front,” Ms Beirne continued.
She said her one reservation about the presidency was a continuation of a US-China trade war, saying that she hoped for some calm as it wasn’t good for global or local business.
“The most exciting thing about the Biden presidency for me is Kamala Harris,” she added.
“The first female vice president, the first black vice president. I feel like these feel like really exciting, progressive times.”
Ian Price said that the presidency was a positive story for UK business as the US see the UK as a useful ally.
“The good thing is, America won’t be as inward looking under biden as it was under trump, so there are genuine opportunities there,” he said.
“I think we’re all spectators in this a little bit and I agree again with Kellie, I think what’s happening with the stock market is great and positive but how that directly impacts on businesses in Wales is hard to tell at the moment because they’re still sort of fire-fighting.
“In truth, it’s business as usual and Biden will be planning for what he’s going to do. I think he’s not going to be as tough on China, but there are some challenges with regards to it.”
Alwen Williams, programme director at North Wales EAB, agreed that there was an opportunity for business to enhance under Biden.
“I think there will be a greater appetite and trust in terms of the USA. They are a very powerful country, important in the global economy and to have a calm president, a measured approach and a pragmatic and non-defensive view of what the future is for the USA builds confidence globally.”
Biden received the largest number of votes ever for a presidential candidate after a historic number of Americans voted in the election, surpassing the previous turnout record in 1908.