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PM Mustn't Beat Around Bush Over US Steel Tariffs

PM Mustn't Beat Around With Bush Over US Steel Tariffs

"Helen Clark must tackle President Bush over his decision to slap tariffs on steel imports into the US when she meets with him later this month," says National Party Leader Bill English.

Mr English says the Prime Minister needs to impress upon the President that this action by the US is putting New Zealand's unsubsidised steel industry at risk.

"Ms Clark can't afford to tip-toe around the issue and she must relay New Zealand's disappointment about the imposition of the tariff when she meets with President Bush.

"She owes it to all those workers involved in New Zealand's steel industry, which exports around $60 million worth of product each year to the US and who could find their jobs in jeopardy over this move."

The Prime Minister also needs to explain to Mr Bush that this type of protectionism not only puts at risk New Zealanders' jobs, but also the concept of freer world trade.

"The world has much to gain from further liberalisation in international trade. Helen Clark must leave President Bush in no doubt that the imposition of protectionist measures for the US steel industry is a backward step to achieving this goal," Mr English concluded.


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