NZ exporters wary about Donald Trump presidency

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Reuters)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Reuters)

While many Republicans in the United States are cheering candidate Donald Trump's resurgence, New Zealand exporters aren't so happy.

A Trump victory could spark a US-China trade war, and ASB economists are warning New Zealand's economic momentum could be "Trumpled" on.

The US is a vital export market for Villa Maria. Chief executive Fabian Yukich was there just two months ago, and the tightening race for the US presidency has Mr Yukich and other exporters a little nervous.

"We really do get battered around with what happens in the rest of the world, and that can make it really, really exciting, and sometimes makes it a little bit nervous."

In all, New Zealand trade with the US was worth nearly $12 billion last year. Wine exports alone were up by 24 percent this year - bringing in $461 million.

But some of that could be at risk, with Mr Trump promising a crackdown on free trade.

"Donald Trump is threatening to start a trade war with China," says ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley. "If that impacts on Chinese growth, we're likely to see slower growth with our own exports."

It would be a trade war between the US and China, with New Zealand caught in the crossfire.

But it's not just free trade where Mr Trump wants radical change; he's also called for US allies to pay more for their own security, and that could fuel global uncertainty.

"It is unpredictable, perhaps a little bit unpredictable now given some of the public statements, but again we still need to focus on wine quality because that's the one thing we can control," says Mr Yukich.

There is some real concern there about what a Trump presidency could mean for New Zealand - one word, unpredictable. With just over a week to go until the US' election day, it's not just those in the US holding their breath.