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Threat from Trump potentially bigger than Brexit for Irish exporters - economist

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Donald Trump (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Donald Trump (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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Donald Trump (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

US President Donald Trump represents a potentially bigger threat for Irish exporters than Brexit.

This is according to economist Alan McQuaid.

His comments come after the US Trade Representative last week called for the elimination of agriculture tariffs and ending non-tariff barriers to US farm exports, like labelling and food safety laws.

If pushed this will result in a trade war for real, after a truce agreed last year between the US and European Union.

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'People's Vote' supporters dance and listen to speeches during a demonstration in Parliament Square on January 15, 2019 in London, England.
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'People's Vote' supporters dance and listen to speeches during a demonstration in Parliament Square on January 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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British MPs pack the chamber at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the UK Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons, London
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British MPs pack the chamber at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the UK Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons, London Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

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Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn attends the debate in Parliament ahead of the vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal
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Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn attends the debate in Parliament ahead of the vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

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Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on her Brexit deal in the House of Commons
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Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on her Brexit deal in the House of Commons Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

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Caricatures of Conservative politicians are driven past the Houses of Parliament on January 15, 2019 in London
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Caricatures of Conservative politicians are driven past the Houses of Parliament on January 15, 2019 in London (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

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Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament on January 15, 2019 in London, England
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Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament on January 15, 2019 in London, England (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

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A placard with Chairman of the European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg's face 
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A placard with Chairman of the European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg's face (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament 
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Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

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Protesters demonstrate on the day that MP's vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal, in Parliament Square
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Protesters demonstrate on the day that MP's vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal, in Parliament Square (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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Pro-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament 
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Pro-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

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Prime Minister Theresa May is congratulated by a Conservative MP at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on her Brexit deal
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Prime Minister Theresa May is congratulated by a Conservative MP at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on her Brexit deal Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

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Britain's Attorney General Geoffrey Cox addresses Parliament ahead of the vote on May's Brexit deal
 UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

Britain's Attorney General Geoffrey Cox addresses Parliament ahead of the vote on May's Brexit deal UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn listens at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn listens at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is seen in Parliament ahead of the vote on May's Brexit deal, in London
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British Prime Minister Theresa May is seen in Parliament ahead of the vote on May's Brexit deal, in London UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford speaks at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal 
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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford speaks at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

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Sir Edward Leigh MP asks a question about his amendment at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons
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Sir Edward Leigh MP asks a question about his amendment at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal in the House of Commons Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

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House of Commons Speaker John Bercow speaks at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal
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House of Commons Speaker John Bercow speaks at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

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John Baron MP begs to move his amendment at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal
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John Baron MP begs to move his amendment at the conclusion of the debate ahead of a vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal Photo credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

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Mr McQuaid, who is chief economist at Merrion Capital, said that both the sterling and the fall in demand in the UK were issues for Irish exporters. However, he added that any deal the UK gets other than a hard Brexit will have a positive impact on the value of the pound.

His comments come as exports from Ireland to Britain for the eleven months to November 2018 fell 4pc to €12.8bn, when compared with January to November 2017, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Meanwhile imports from Britain increase by 5pc to €16.6bn.

In contrast, exports to Northern Ireland from the Republic were up slightly year-on-year to €1.86bn from €1.78bn.

Imports from Northern Ireland to the Republic also increased to €1.35bn in the 11 month period from €1.25bn over the same period in 2017.

Mr McQuaid also warned that the European Parliament elections taking place this summer could potentially have a negative impact on trade.

“You could see a big shift in the make up of the European Parliament, which in turn could disrupt the trade mechanisms, and the EU is a significant trade partner for Ireland.”

Overall and the value of goods exports for the period January to November 2018 was €128bn, a 14pc increase on the same period in 2017.

The value of goods imports for the period January to November 2018 was €81bn, an increase of 12pc, when compared with January to November 2017.

Looking specifically at November and the value of goods exports decreased by 2pc to €11.9bn on a seasonally adjusted basis, while imports decreased by 9pc to €7.3bn.

This means there was an increase of 12pc in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €4.59bn in November.

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