This research note recommends a return to New Zealand’s long-cherished bipartisan trade policy that has been damaged in recent years’ debates over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
- The US economy is growing steadily at 2%, and unemployment is low at 4.3%. The outlook for New Zealand exporters to the US remains solid, albeit not spectacular.
- The anticipated stimulus from a tax reform and infrastructure package is unlikely to occur, as the new administration struggles to keep Congress happy.
- US trade policy is focussing on penalising China for dumping steel and intellectual property theft, updating the North American Free Trade Agreement and potentially withdrawing from the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.
- None of these processes will run smoothly, and the outcomes could contribute to a challenging global trade environment for Kiwi firms.
- Pro-trade US businesses are keeping their heads down to avoid the wrath of Trump instead of pushing for greater economic integration.
- New Zealand should take the next few years to reaffirm its bipartisan approach to trade policy and economic integration – starting with TPP – so that it is ready to move swiftly when political conditions improve.