Immediately after the GFC some commentators predicted not only wholesale disruption to the world economies but political upheaval and instability. Back then it seemed remote however it is now a reality.
The Brexit and the American election result reinforces the fact there is a large undercurrent of voters who are disillusioned with the political classes. These people consider they have been left behind and aren’t sharing the benefits free trade, globalism and technology disruption.
Donald Trump has been elected with a mishmash of policy some far left and some far right with simplistic slogans with no real solutions. However Trump has rode a wave of anti-establishment sentiment which wrong footed most commentators and virtually all of the pollsters.
In Australia we have had mixed reactions with unusual bedfellows as the Greens and Pauline Hanson praising the President elect for pledging to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Australia needs free trade not only for our commodity exports but more importantly to keep our whole economy internationally competitive. It is only by being internationally competitive we will generate opportunity and increase our living standards. Unfortunately there are no simple solutions to our political and economic malaise. We need to live within our means and accept hard decisions not necessarily popular ones.
Garry Hargrave, President
Redland City Chamber of Commerce