How afraid should we be of US firms fleeing Ireland?

Trump plans to bring companies home - and Ireland could be one of the big losers...

How afraid should we be of US firms fleeing Ireland?

Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

The Irish economy faces a fresh wave of uncertainty following the victory of Donald Trump in the US Presidential Election on Tuesday night.

Fergal O'Rourke is a Managing Partner at financial firm PWC and a board member of American Chambers of Commerce Ireland, he joined The Pat Kenny Show to discuss how US businesses in Ireland will be affected by Mr Trump taking office.

He believes that there are two strands of firms that he will want to bring back:

"The first is certain companies who fled the US - we call them inversions over here. They move their headquarter to Ireland and the UK, the Netherlands and Luxembourg [for tax advantages]. I suspect that if the policies are implemented most of those companies will go back," Mr O'Rourke told Newstalk.

Trump has promises to bring companies like Apple back to the US

He added that he does not think that we are facing a wave of firms with established Irish operations relocating:

"There is a group who have expanded abroad, they have boots on the ground - they are manufacturing in Ireland or elsewhere. They have regional headquarters here ... Is it likely that they would now up-sticks and go back? No, I don't believe it is. They are well established here."

Mr O'Rourke said that Ireland offers more than low taxes to foreign firms and that our English speaking educated workforce and "pro-business" environment will continue to attract companies.

However, in the short term he believes that companies will "press the pause button for the next few months" if they are planning a move abroad - and that a new low corporation rate could mean that less companies will come to Ireland in the future.

On the issue of trade, Mr O'Rourke believes that there is a danger of the president-elect starting a trade war, which will be "bad for everybody."