The UK's referendum to leave the EU affects mid-Michigan

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-26 11:31:22-04

The vote by the British public to leave the European Union could affect mid-Michigan.

"Ford and General Motors have major operations in Europe," says Charles Ballard, a professor of economics at Michigan State University. "Those operations are facing challenges now that they did not have 24 hours ago."

That may include tariffs on American cars made in the UK and sold in EU countries. But mid-Michigan's economy isn't immediately at risk because of "Brexit."

"Right now, I don't think that this is likely to have any major affect on the local GM workers," says Ballard, "I don't think that the British exit is large enough by itself to trigger that."

But if the UK leaving the EU inspires other countries to follow suit, a domino effect could begin, leading to severe economical damages and a global recession. But right now the intention of other EU countries is unclear.

"Right now there's an awful lot up in the air and that uncertainty is one of the things that's fueling the panic in the financial markets," explains Ballard.

One of mid-Michigan's biggest companies is Jackson National Life Insurance, which is owned by a British corporation. JNL released a statement saying it doesn't expect the referendum to cause any significant change to its operations in the foreseeable future.

Ballard thinks whatever impact we feel will be short lived:

"It's likely that the long-run impact will dissipate over time."

Meaning people in Michigan won't see a large impact on their daily lives.