Many US firms playing catchup after surprise EU exit vote

Herman Miller Inc, known for its high-tech office furniture and as the inventor of the office cubicle, had factored Brexit into its contingency planning for this year among other global risks, trimming its budgets and "not overfilling open positions" while awaiting the vote, Chief Executive Brian Walker said.

Over the last six months - particularly the last three - the Zeeland, Michigan-based company noticed a slowdown among UK clients, as those planning office complexes or renovations held tight.

But even with that foresight, it was not until he read a legal article on Friday morning that Walker realized that Britain will likely have to rewrite all of its trade agreements as it leaves the EU, a process expected to take up to two years.

"There's so much uncertainty about how they're going to implement this, and some of it is unknowable at this point," he said.

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