WELLINGTON, March 3 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's pillar farming industry has voiced dismay at the trade policies of the new United States administration under President Donald Trump.
The Federated Farmers industry association on Friday issued a statement saying Trump's "willingness to shun international trade conventions will have serious and deeply felt implications for New Zealand's export trade."
"The new president's determination to promote American interests above all else, even at the expense of long-standing, and mutually beneficial agreements could be devastating for New Zealand," Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston said in the statement.
Trump's statements this week appeared to go way beyond rejecting participation in international free trade agreement negotiations like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of his key election promises.
The report Trump's administration sent to Congress this week outlined their intention to even go so far as to consider World Trade Organisation rulings non-binding.
"This is extraordinary. If allowed to continue in this vein, it will undermine all the work we've done as a nation," said Rolleston.
"We have long advocated for countries to live up to their commitments and obligations. This thinking will take global trade backwards and will ultimately be as damaging for the U.S. as anywhere else," Rolleston said.
Trump's actions were reminiscent of 1930s when the U.S. Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act ushered in a tariff war which turned the Wall Street Crash into the Great Depression.
"If President Trump decides to use the might of the USA to bully their way out of trade agreements which were negotiated in good faith, and to be mutually beneficial to all parties, then New Zealand and many other countries could be severely compromised," said Rolleston.
Rolleston's comments came the day after Reserve Bank of New Zealand governor Graeme Wheeler described the possibility of U.S. trade protectionism as the biggest risk to New Zealand's economy.
"Increased protectionist measures would represent a negative global supply shock," Wheeler said in a published speech.