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NZ US Council congratulates Jim Sutton

New Zealand United States Council

Media release – 10 July 2006

NZ US Council congratulates Jim Sutton

The New Zealand United States Council today offered warm congratulations to Minister of State Hon Jim Sutton for his unswerving commitment to expanding New Zealand’s trade with the United States.

Mr Sutton’s retirement from politics was announced today. He will continue to serve as a Trade Ambassador for New Zealand.

NZ US Council Executive Director Stephen Jacobi said “Jim Sutton has been an outstanding leader of New Zealand’s export effort for the last six years. He has been a tireless campaigner for the cause of freer and fairer trade and has worked closely with successive US Trade Representatives whose respect he earned early on.”

Mr Jacobi said he had worked closely with Jim Sutton as a member of his staff 2000-2001 and later in different roles in the private sector.

“Jim Sutton’s role has been widely appreciated by business. As Minister for Trade Negotiations he oversaw a significant period in growth in New Zealand’s trade opportunities whether through the World Trade Organisation or bilateral agreements including with Singapore, Thailand and China. He saw the value to New Zealand of close co-operation with the United States in the WTO. He consistently advocated New Zealand’s case for a free trade agreement with the United States and helped advance New Zealand’s profile in Washington”.

Mr Jacobi welcomed Jim Sutton’s appointment as Trade Ambassador and said the Council would look for an early opportunity to meet with him to discuss its ongoing programme in the United States building on the successful US NZ Partnership Forum last April.

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About the NZUS Council – www.nzuscouncil.com

The New Zealand United States Council is a non partisan body funded by both business and the Government to promote New Zealand’s broader relationship with the US. Two way trade with the US is valued at over $8 billion. The US is New Zealand’s second export market overall and the largest export market for dairy products, beef, and seafood. The US is New Zealand’s second largest purchaser of manufactured goods and among the top five markets for sheepmeat, forest products, fruit and vegetables. The US is the second largest source of imports and the third largest source of tourists who in the year to March 2005 spent $615 million (the highest daily spenders). The US contributes around 12 percent of all foreign direct investment. With its Washington based counterpart the Council organised the first ever US NZ Partnership Forum in Washington DC in April 2006.

ENDS

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