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Prebble Urges Fast Action on Hong Kong Agreement

Prebble Urges Fast Action on Hong Kong Agreement

Wednesday 18th Apr 2001 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Other

ACT leader Hon Richard Prebble today urged Prime Minister Helen Clark to proceed at pace with plans for a new free trade agreement with Hong Kong and pledged that expected opposition from the Green Party wouldn’t be a problem for the Government.

“I wrote to Ms Clark last month ahead of her visit to Hong Kong, proposing such a free trade agreement, and offering ACT support for it.

“With this letter promising support the Prime Minister knows she won’t have to pander to the Greens’ populist nonsense to get the agreement through Parliament.

“We’ll vote for any reasonable proposal and let the Greens get on with their ridiculous spouting about child labour and sweatshops. These comments are absolutely absurd because Hong Kong has a much higher standard of living than we have.

“Despite relying on trade for our lifeblood, we’re being closed out of a growing number of international trade agreements.

“These include the European Community agreement, the North America agreement, the proposed Australia-United States agreement and the Mercosur agreement in South America.

“As a trading nation in a global economy New Zealand is dependent on international trade, yet we are in great danger of missing out on this round of bilateral agreements.

“Helen Clark knows she will not get the support of her usual parliamentary allies, but armed with my letter she is in a stronger position to reject their attempts to turn New Zealand into an isolated fortress economy.

“Free trade increases wealth in countries who practice it, creates jobs and raises new business opportunities between the signatories. Closer economic ties with Asia will benefit New Zealand in numerous ways, principally tourism, education and food exports,” Hon Richard Prebble said.


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