Donald Trump to end free trade, says NZ businessman

  • 13/11/2016
US President-elect Donald Trump (Reuters)
US President-elect Donald Trump (Reuters)

Donald Trump's win in the US presidential election signals a halt to unbridled global free markets and trade agreements, New Zealand business man Chris Liddell says.

Mr Liddell, who has held leadership roles with Microsoft and General Motors and helped Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, told Q+A on Sunday he expected the world to enter an era of more restrained trade.

For New Zealand this would likely mean bilateral free trade deals being left on the table, while multi-nation or bloc deals were unlikely.

He said after 30 years in which New Zealand and US politics had been driven by total free market thinking and rhetoric, it had now become unpopular.

"People say it doesn't work for us anymore," he said.

Describing Mr Trump's victory as a middle finger to the Republican and Democratic establishments, he said it also served as a warning.

He said New Zealand and other governments around the world needed to act to address growing inequality and the "hollowing out of the middle class", which were set to become major issues over the next 10 years.