Thursday, 17 November 2016 08:55

Trade havoc under Trump?

Written by  Pam Tipa
Trade expert Stephen Jacobi. Trade expert Stephen Jacobi.

US president-elect Donald Trump has the powers, delegated by Congress, to wreak havoc on international trade, says trade expert Stephen Jacobi.

The question is “will he use them?” Jacobi asks.

“The impacts and choices for New Zealand under a Trump presidency are unclear at best,” says Jacobi, a former diplomat who is executive director of the NZ International Business Forum and also on the NZ China Council.

“In the short term, I find it hard to see a way through for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the ‘lame duck’ session,” he says.

“Longer term, the issues behind TPP (market access, better trade rules, actions to promote investment and reducing the costs of doing business) will all need to be addressed.”

Going forward, it’s all about policy, people and the president himself, he says.

“On policies, what will be the approach to trade agreements and what will be the new normal in the US relationship with China?”

Jacobi says it remains to be seen whether Trump really will rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between US, Canada and Mexico.

“What about multilateral agreements like the WTO and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change? “On people, who will advise Trump on trade? Will the Republican establishment come back to serve in a Trump administration?

“On the president, how will his unpredictable and abrasive nature play into global policy?”

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