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Trump can win: Bernardi believes

AAP logoAAP 20/09/2016 Belinda Merhab

Conservative Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi believes Donald Trump could be the next US president and he reckons Americans might do pretty well out of it.

Senator Bernardi says Trump is tapping into a well of discontent that politicians around the world would be wise to listen to.

His policies were about protecting America and standing up for people who felt dispossessed by mainstream politics.

Senator Bernardi sought to quell fears over some of Trump's controversial policies by insisting constraints within the system could block them.

"People will do and say things to get elected," he told Sky News in New York on Tuesday.

"There are structures and constraints that generally temper any of the more volatile attitudes."

Senator Bernardi insists Australia's alliance with the US can withstand any personality.

His comments come as a Washington DC-based think tank warns Trump could unleash a trade war, plunge the US economy into recession and disrupt alliances with nations including "long-time ally Australia".

The Peterson Institute for International Economics report, which assesses the trade agendas of the presidential candidates, criticises both for opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between 12 nations including Australia.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the US has urged Congress to approve the deal before Barack Obama leaves the White House while Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has met representatives from both the Trump and Hillary Clinton camps, urging them to reconsider.

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