Let’s keep our minds open for Trump- for now

Grant Duncan – 

New Zealand farmers may be miffed that Donald Trump’s presidency spells the end of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and the opportunities it promised.

But for those opposed to it, the likely death of the TPP may be the one good thing that comes of the highly contentious US election result.

The Don’s presidency would bring about a lot of change on the international political scene, including in the area of climate change policy.

Differing approach

It it is ironic that while the US is set to pursue a protectionist, anti-globalisation, America-first approach to trade, China’s head of state is speaking in favour of globalisation.

D New Zealand is well positioned to relate well to China and the US.

Ironically, it has been much easier for us to get a free trade agreement with China than it has been with the US.

We have been trying for much longer to get a free trade agreement with the US and it has been impossible.

China continues to be our primary trading partner and will continue to be really important. There is a lot of doubt now about our access into the American market.

Trade War

The threat of a trade war between China and the US would be a disaster for all parties, including New Zealand. But China’s position in the Asia-Pacific region would be advantaged by Trump’s nationalism, he adds.

With Trump’s anti-immigration message a dominant theme of his electoral campaign, I urge New Zealand’s political leaders to reassure the country’s migrant communities that there should be no flow-on effect here.

I emphasise that a majority of New Zealanders did not share these views.

Trump’s comments about undocumented immigrants and Muslim immigrants in particular are alarming, and out of step with international law.

Let us adopt a ‘wait and see approach’ as the world braces itself for the reality television star’s first days as President because some of his statements maybe just testing the waters, prodding people to see what reaction they get.

Trump is a contradictory and often self-contradictory individual and he thinks that people need to keep an open mind and wait and see what he actually does.

Grant Duncan is Associate Professor of Politics at Massey University Auckland Campus. The above were a part of his interview given to Lawrence Law of World Television (Picture Courtesy: Massey News)

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