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Taking the longer view on Brexit impact on Mississippi

By JACK WEATHERLY

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union shook up world stock markets and sent the British pound plummeting.

But the longer view seems to be the relevant thing to do with regard to Mississippi.

The UK is one of Mississippi’s import partners, though not one of the biggest, ranking 17th in 2015 in terms of value of exports from the Magnolia State.

The value of Mississippi products and services bought by the UK last year amounted to $169 million, or 1.6 percent of the state’s exports, according to the U.S. census.

“Thus far in 2016, aircraft equipment and parts, machinery, and medical instruments make up over 50 percent of the state’s exports to the UK,” said World Trade Center Mississippi Executive Director Tracy Diez.

The total value of Mississippi’s top partners from among the 28 EU nations is $107 billion, or 9.9 percent of all exports.

The state’s leading partner is Canada, whose purchases amounted to $2 billion out of the total of $10.8 billion for all nations.

The top 25 totaled $9.5 billion, according to the census.

“World Trade Center Mississippi is monitoring the situation so that we are prepared to assist our businesses if and when they made need it,” Diez said in an email. “We have strong relationships with our World Trade Center partners in all of Europe and will utilize this advantage to keep our global footprint strong and our businesses as informed as possible.”

Mississippi’s other top partners in the UK last year were: Belgium at No. 7, $335 million; Holland, No. 10, $283 million; Germany, No. 11, $283 million.

Chad Moutray, chief economist at National Association of Manufacturers, said of the “Brexit,” or British exit: “More than anything, (the) vote has added yet another element of uncertainty into the marketplace, which could further undermine growth within Europe and potentially globally.”

Meantime, foreign stock exchanges and the pound showed signs of stabilization on Wednesday.

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