A few thoughts on a few, somewhat random, topics...
Brexit’s impact on Idaho. The June 23 referendum vote in Great Britain to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves around the world. The “Leave” campaign prevailed 52% to 48%.
What about the impact on the Idaho economy?
The United Kingdom is a top ten Idaho foreign trade partner but was only ranked eighth in 2015. Still, that was $121 million in Idaho goods and services sold to Britain in 2015.
What impact is Brexit likely to have on U.K/Idaho trade?
U.S./British trade is unrelated to the rules of the European Union. Rather, they are governed by bilateral agreements between the two countries. Those will remain in place regardless of Brexit.
So the overall impact on Idaho’s foreign exports should be minimal or non-existent.
An interesting tidbit...the largest British-owned company in Idaho is Holiday Inn which employs over 2,100 folks in Idaho.
Fluor takes over INL cleanup. Fortune 500 company Fluor Corporation is in the process of settling in to run the $1.4 billion cleanup operation at the Idaho National Laboratory.
Employing 1,700 Idaho employees, Fluor will work to remove various forms of radioactive waste from nuclear fuel to contaminated liquids on the INL east of Idaho Falls.
Fluor’s expanded footprint in Idaho is likely to expand further in the future.
The company, through its subsidiary NuScale Power, is set to build and test a small modular nuclear reactor power project at the Idaho National Laboratory by 2024. A regional power consortium of municipal power systems, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (which includes Idaho Falls as a member), has committed to build up to 12 such reactors thereafter in Eastern Idaho.
Johnson/Weld campaign run out of Salt Lake City. The Libertarian team of former GOP New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Republican Governor William Weld is running strong nationally with some polls showing the team at around 10% of the popular vote.
What many may not know is that their campaign is being run out of Salt Lake City, Utah. The campaign manager is Utah native Ron Nielson who teamed with Johnson in his first gubernatorial run in New Mexico.
In a recent article in Reason magazine, Nielson indicated the campaign would focus extensively on Rocky Mountain States, including presumably Idaho.
I expect we will see Idaho visits by the ticket, local grassroots organizing and, perhaps, some advertising.
Areva reconfiguring. Unnoticed by the Idaho media, financially troubled French nuclear giant Areva announced a couple weeks ago it was forming a new company known as NEW CO.
This company will take over Areva’s mining and enrichment branches. The French government has committed to infuse 5 billion Euros (roughly $5.5 billion), split between Areva and NEW CO to capitalize both companies.
Might this lead to a renewed effort to build the announced but delayed multi-billion dollar Areva plant east of Idaho Falls?