WELLINGTON, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand exporters were bracing themselves Thursday for challenging times under U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, as Prime Minister John Key conceded the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal was dead "in the short term."
Trump has pledged to scrap some multinational trade deals, and branded the 12-nation TPP, which was signed in New Zealand this year, as a "rape" to the United States.
Key told Radio New Zealand Thursday that the deal was "definitely not going anywhere in a hurry" and discussions would probably be put on hold.
"It would have been nice to have, but we're not going to have it in the short term," said Key.
"But does that mean there will never be an attempt to re-negotiate it? No, because President Trump will get the same advice from the State Department, from the Pentagon, from the Treasury that President Obama got, which is that you need to have influence and you need to have presence in Asia and to do that free trade locking you in there is the way to do it."
The Business New Zealand lobby group said international trade could be a source of tension with Trump as U.S. President.
New Zealand's prosperity relied on open and free trading of its export products, and if the U.S. took a more closed approach to trade in future, New Zealand export returns could be affected, chief executive Kirk Hope said in a statement.
"The U.S. is New Zealand's third largest export market. Trade with the U.S. earns New Zealand over 5 billion NZ dollars (3.65 billion U.S. dollars) a year in products including meat, dairy and wine, and over 2 billion NZ dollars (1.46 billion U.S. dollars) a year in services. A reduction in this level of trade would make a difference to New Zealand's growth prospects," said Hope.
The Export New Zealand lobby group said Trump's election signalled "a bumpy ride" for currency markets and a lost opportunity to reduce trade barriers for New Zealand products if the TPP was knocked back.
"Trump's anti-trade position and general protectionist stance is concerning. If his intentions to stop U.S. companies from outsourcing overseas and tariff walls eventuate then New Zealand will lose from this," executive director Catherine Beard said.
"We hope that in reality, common sense prevails and there will be a return to a more orthodox position on international affairs."
University of Auckland law Professor Jane Kelsey, who had helped lead opposition to the TPP internationally, said the vote for Trump was a backlash against such trade deals from ordinary people who felt alienated and disempowered.
President Barack Obama's administration had been ready to put the implementing legislation for the TPP to a vote during the lame duck period of Congress, Kelsey said in a statement.
"It is still possible they would try. But to do so in the face of the landslide vote for Trump, and for enough Republicans to endorse the legislation, would be hugely provocative when the talk is of healing and unity," she said.