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Trade promotion authority through US good for NZ

Lockwood Smith
National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

7 December 2001

Trade promotion authority through US good for NZ

"Great news" was the reaction of National's Foreign Affairs spokesperson to the statement from President Bush that the House of Representatives had passed trade promotion authority.

"One of the impediments to progress on international trade liberalisation during the Clinton Administration was his failure to achieve what was then called fast track negotiating authority.

"In the U.S. system this authority enables the Government to negotiate trade deals without the Congress being able to re-litigate every line. Without it trade deals are almost impossible.

"Having trade promotion authority through the House of Representatives is a huge step forward.

"I understand the Senate, which must also pass this legislation, won't be able to address it until next year. However, the House of Representatives probably represents the highest hurdle.

"This is all good news for progress on the recently launched WTO trade negotiations, and also removes a key barrier to New Zealand's ambitions for a free trade agreement with the United States" Dr Smith said.


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