Federated Farmers believes US President Donald Trump’s willingness to shun international trade conventions will have serious and deeply felt implications for New Zealand’s export trade.
“The new president’s determination to promote American interests above all else, even at the expense of long-standing, and mutually beneficial agreements could be devastating for New Zealand,” Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston says.
Donald Trump’s statements appear to go way beyond rejecting participation in international free trade agreement negotiations like the Trans Pacific Partnership, one of his key election promises.
The report Trump’s administration sent to Congress outlined their intention to even go so far as to consider World Trade Organisation rulings non-binding.
“This is extraordinary. If allowed to continue in this vein, it will undermine all the work we’ve done as a nation.
“We have long advocated for countries to live up to their commitments and obligations. This thinking will take global trade backwards and will ultimately be as damaging for the US as anywhere else,” Dr Rolleston says.
Trump’s actions are reminiscent of 1930s when the US Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act ushered in a tariff war which turned the Wall Street Crash into the Great Depression.
New Zealand’s standard of living is intimately linked to our global trade markets.
“We have worked so hard, for so long, to get our products to more than 120 countries around the world.
“If President Trump decides to use the might of the USA to bully their way out of trade agreements which were negotiated in good faith, and to be mutually beneficial to all parties, then New Zealand and many other countries could be severely compromised,” he says.