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The Noble Policy Of Sucking Up To The Americans

3 May 2000


United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Government is continuing the noble policy of its predecessor of sucking up to the Americans on trade policy issues to make up for perceived indiscretions in defence and foreign policy.

He was commenting on the announcement by the United States Embassy that the US Government has taken New Zealand off its “301 Watch List” of countries who behave inappropriately in terms of US trade policy, because of the New Zealand Government’s decision to ban parallel importing of creative industry products.

“The only impact this move will have on New Zealand consumers will be to put up prices by as much as 20% on books and CDs, with no other impact on the local creative sector.”

“It amounts to a form of public atonement for not proceeding with the F16 decision,” he says.

Mr Dunne says there is a strong parallel between these actions and the National Government’s decision to change patent laws in 1992 to stop the development of generic medicines.

“In that instance, the Government changed New Zealand’s laws under pressure from the United States to protect the intellectual property of American pharmaceutical interests.”

“In doing so, the New Zealand Government gave up the opportunity of cheaper, generic products being made more widely available to New Zealand consumers.”

“The trade-off was that such a move was a desirable row of re-ingratiating New Zealand with the United States in the aftermath of the ANZUS row.”

“The irony then was that the Labour Party was strongly opposed to those moves as a sell-out of New Zealand interests, yet now it is leading the charge with regard to creative industry products!”

“It all goes to show that the more things change, the more they remain the same,” he says.

New Zealand’s Liberal Party

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