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US companies voice c8k8 777oncern about UK costs under Labour govt

南海西北陆坡一号二号沉船分布范围已探明,提取文物928件套 | 8k8 777 | Updated: 2024-07-21 03:34:12

British opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer talks to the media, as he visits a nursery during a Labour general election campaign event, in Nuneaton, Britain on June 10. [Photo/Agencies]

Companies from the United States have expressed concern about the potential surging cost of operating in the United Kingdom if the Labour Party were to win the general election on July 4.

According to the chief of the leading transatlantic trade association British American Business, or BAB, a change in government may make the country a less attractive place to invest.

The organization's CEO Duncan Edwards told the Financial Times newspaper that concerns were "absolutely" greater in the context of a Labour Party government compared to a Conservative-led administration.

"There's concern about a potential rise in the cost of doing business in the UK," he said.

Both the Conservative and Labour parties are campaigning to enhance their standing with the business community in preparation for the upcoming election. Given the constraints on public finances, the next government will depend heavily on the private sector to stimulate economic investment.

While Labour has expressed support for businesses and pledged to uphold fiscal discipline, Edwards noted that there remained a level of doubt among companies, saying there was "still a little bit of skepticism".

The BAB represents more than 400 companies conducting operations in both the UK and the US, including major players like Amazon, McKinsey, and Delta Air Lines.

Edwards noted that there was no clear indication that US companies favored either the Labour or Conservative parties, and expressed optimism that a Labour administration could potentially strengthen trade relations with the US through the Atlantic declaration, which was signed by both nations last year to enhance economic connections.

Concerns among US companies regarding a Labour Party government revolve around taxation, costs associated with employment, and regulatory aspects including competition law, he added.

Labour has pledged to maintain the current corporation tax rate and even lower it if necessary for international competitiveness. However, Edwards highlighted the absence of similar assurances regarding employment taxes and energy levies from the party.

Labour's proposed revamp of workers' rights would likely lead to higher costs and decreased flexibility for employers, the FT noted. Edwards said that when companies assess investment choices, they weigh not only the direct expenses of operating in the UK but also the comparative costs in relation to nations including France, Germany, and Ireland.

Edwards emphasized that the UK possesses "massive advantages" compared to other nations and has established a substantial presence of US companies.

"We will be reminding (the next government) of the things that can act as a disincentive," he said.

He noted that worries about the financial impact of a Labour Party government were centered within specialized teams analyzing public policies and investment costs across countries, crucial for making informed investment decisions.

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