Visiting Republican backs TPP

Visiting Republican backs TPP

A Republican politician visiting New Zealand says Donald Trump will likely win the Republican nomination and the controversial TPP will probably pass through US Congress.

Matt Salmon is the Republican Congressman for Arizona and is here this week as part of a US congressional delegation.

He's due to retire following the US election this year, after 25 years in politics.

"I would rather see a race with Ted Cruz versus Hillary [Clinton] but yes, I think Trump could win," he says.

He says this is an election like he's never seen before and says the US needs a leader that will revitalise the country.

"I think we need a leader that is going to be able to unite the people of America, and I don't mean to give the Miss America answer, but right now America is very divided," he says.

One of the things dividing America at the moment is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Mr Salmon strongly supports.

"This is the best bet for lowering the barriers to being able to sell products in other countries and it's the same for New Zealand. It's what we call a win-win."

He thinks it will be ratified by the US Congress early next year once the new US president is in office, and shouldn't be passed by Barack Obama.

"Something that big and that controversial being ratified by people who won't be standing for re-election just inflames the public and makes them believe in conspiracies.

"I believe that ultimately the TPP will get passed but it's going to be 80 percent Republican and 20 percent at best, Democratic votes."

And he says even if it isn't ratified, globalisation is part of our world today and won't go away.