CalChamber Issues Statement on Brexit Vote

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement following the Brexit vote.

“California has a lot at stake,” said Allan Zaremberg, CalChamber President and CEO. “We are the sixth largest economy in the world and a major trading and investment state, and no one in California can be immune from dramatic changes in the international economic structure.

In order to mitigate the uncertainty and instability, the exit, which requires approval by Parliament and the EU, must be orderly and consider the global consequences. The Trans-Atlantic relationship is one of the most important in the world, and the United Kingdom is one of the most valued trade and investment partners for our country and state.

This will probably make America and the dollar safe havens for international investments, which unfortunately could make California exports more expensive. Finally, because of California’s reliance on the income tax, market volatility can put the government’s revenues at risk, and that is one more reason to have an orderly transition.”

UK Trade Stats

Two-way trade between the United States and the United Kingdom was $ 114 billion in 2015, and the UK was the fifth largest importer of US goods with a total value of $56.3 billion, according to the US Department of Commerce.

The United Kingdom is California’s 10th largest export destination, with over $5 billion in exports in 2015. Computer and electronics products accounted for approximately 26.5% of exports – more than $1.3 billion. Transportation equipment brought in $667 million, or 13% while both chemicals and non-electrical machinery each accounted for approximately 8.5 % of the total, with over $ 436 million in exports each.

In 2015, imports from the United Kingdom to California were approximately $4.5 billion, with top categories being transportation and computers.

European Union Trade Stats

The UK is the entry market into the European market for over 41,000 US exporters.

Total bilateral trade between the European Union and the United States was $698.7 billion in 2015, with the United States exporting to $ 272 billion worth of goods to the 28 EU member nations.

California exports to the European Union totaled $29.2 billion in 2015. California is the top exporting state to Europe. Computers, electronic products, chemicals, miscellaneous manufactured commodities, and transportation equipment are our leading export sectors to the region.  European Union countries purchase 17.6% of all California exports.


Per the US Department of Commerce, the US-UK investment relationship is the largest in the world, valued at over $1 trillion in 2014 and creating over two million jobs, about one million in each country. British investment is specifically vast in California where it supports approximately 90,000 jobs in our state according to the British Consulate General.

The California Chamber of Commerce supports expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business. 

The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California.  Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state.  Leveraging our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, we provide products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law.  CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California’s economy and create jobs.  Please visit our website at


Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. See full bio.