Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union could put Texas in the international catbird seat. That’s the take of Peter Zeihan (TX, '15), a well-regarded economic and geopolitical analyst in Austin.
Three years from now, the 42-year-old principal of Zeihan on Geopolitics LLC expects us to be talking about the United Kingdom joining the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“The multinational supply chain that we have among Canada, Mexico and ourselves is phenomenal,” says Zeihan, who is known for mapping out, literally, geographic, demographic and economic consequences. “Add the United Kingdom, and you get another 60, 65 million people with one of the world’s most advanced industrial bases. From an economic and market point of view, it’s brilliant for us.”
By “us” he means the United States and the one with the Lone Star.
“This would be perfect for Texas,” says Zeihan, pointing out the state's epicenter location. “Being able to integrate British, American, Canadian and Mexican supply chains all in one place? Texas can’t possibly lose.”
Unfortunately for D-FW, most of the U.K.’s exports are transported by ship, so Corpus Christi and Houston will be the biggest beneficiaries, he says.
But the U.K. ranks second behind the U.S. in petroleum engineering. “So you’re going to have a lot of Brits coming over to play in the American shale patch,” Zeihan says. D-FW, Midland and San Antonio are the likely key beneficiaries of this.