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MI Industry Advisory Board: What Trump could mean for the post-Brexit UK MI market

Laura  Barnes
MI Industry Advisory Board: What Trump could mean for the post-Brexit UK MI market

MI Pro’s Advisory Board is back and our first discussion is somewhat of a divisive one.

We decided it was time to revive our popular Advisory Board feature to insure the industry has a platform to voice its opinions on important issues.

It will now be known as the MI Industry Advisory Board and will feature industry figures from across retail, distribution, manufacturing and more.

Each month we will be asking our extensive advisory board their opinions on pressing issues in the industry, how they’d like to see the market evolve, and how certain outside factors are shaping the MI world.
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Our first MI Industry Advisory Board feature is about two subjects that have divided opinion around the world, and also within the Advisory Board itself. I am of course talking about Donald Trump and Brexit.

This month we asked the industry if they think Trump will help our economy as we face an EU exit, and how much the US election matters to the MI industry. Here’s what they had to say:

Kevin Harding, Founding Director, Academy of Music & Sound

“Yes [I think Trump will help our economy as we face an EU exit] as he appears to like the fact that we have had the temerity to leave Europe. I believe it will make a positive difference.

Of course [Trump’s election] will matter as we trade in music instruments etc with the US. Likewise we export instruments to the US and will hopefully benefit from a good trade deal. I think we should also consider UK music as a whole and not just the instrument element and a trade deal needs to include music imported and exported.

From our perspective, with the UK's first online supported distance learning music degree, we hope to be able to export this opportunity for US students in gaining a British music degree. We are planning to launch this in the US from October 2017.”

Russell Thomas, Founder, RTS Music

“No I don’t think Donald Trump cares about anything outside of the USA and is always going to do what he believes suits Donald Trump best, the American people 2nd and the rest of the world nowhere.

I don’t think having Donald Trump as the president of the USA will have any positive impact on the UK MI trade.”

Mike Barnfield, Managing Director, Mickleburgh

“The big problem with ‘Brexit’ is that the questions asked are always loaded. The way the question ends “…. as we face an EU exit” implies that the exit has to be faced up to; and that it is therefore a bad thing. Consequently, you are trying to ask if Trump will help the resulting ailing economy. If you don’t think that the economy is going to suffer – except in the short term as a result of the propaganda – you can only conclude that Donald Trump will make little or no difference at all.

As I understand it, the vast majority of our goods come from China, with whom the EU (and consequently the UK) has no trade agreement. So the idea that not having trade agreements will massively affect our industry is difficult to follow.

So now, having stuck my head above the parapet, I wait for all the flak from those who think leaving the EU is a complete disaster. Only thing is – I am amazed at how many of my colleagues and friends actually voted to leave the EU, but only admit to it once I have admitted that I’m a “Leave” supporter. But then should I be amazed? It was the majority who voted that way!

We have no idea, yet of what the UK’s prospects will be after we leave the EU, and that’s because negotiations have not yet begun and we do not know what the EU’s prospects are without the UK. Some think it will collapse before the two years are up, others think that we will have access to all the trade agreements and the single market despite not being a member. It is therefore impossible to factor in any influence Donald Trump might have on the future of the UK. You might as well ask what influence the demise of Fidel Castro will have on the future of the UK post Brexit!”


Richard Gaya, Director, Stompbox

“The election of a new US president, arguably the most powerful person in the world, is of relevance to everyone in the world. When it is someone as controversial as Trump, it becomes even more so. The short-term impact of his election on our industry is likely to be minimal. If anything, a fall in the value of the dollar will be of benefit to us here in the UK. It is encouraging that the UK growth forecasts have not changed since Trump won.

It's difficult to say what will happen in the medium to long term as Trump has already shown that what he said during his election campaign is not necessarily what he will carry out. Nonetheless, one can make a fair guess at the general direction he will want to take the US. We should remember that a large number of MI brands are US-based so, if he gets the economics wrong and the US were to plunge into recession, the lost volume from our industry's biggest market would have a serious impact on all suppliers, distributors and retailers.

Probably the biggest positive we in the UK can take from Trump's election is that he may look more favourably on a post-Brexit trade deal with us.

Ultimately, regardless of who is President of the USA, we can only ever manage what is within our direct control. Those focusing on their own businesses, on margin, on profit, on cashflow, on the people who work for them, will succeed.  Those concerned with external factors like Trump will have a harder time.” 

If you’d like to be a part of our MI Industry Advisory Board or have a particular subject that you feel should be addressed, email MI Pro’s editor at

Tags: Opinion , advisory board , brexit , Donald Trump , MI Industry Advisory Board

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