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US Trade Report Offers Unique Opportunity to PM

US Trade Report Offers Unique Opportunity to Prime Minister

Monday 18 Mar 2002 Owen Jennings Press Releases -- Economy

A US Trade Report just published by the Institute of International Economics demonstrates the relative ease with which a free trade agreement could be established, ACT Trade Negotiations Spokesman MP Owen Jennings said today.

"The only obstacle in the way of rapid progress is Helen Clark's ideology on defence issues.

"If Helen Clark could be convinced to put aside her narrow and outdated thinking she could take to Washington a powerful bargaining chip for a free-trade agreement.

"The Institute of International Economics' report shows the problem area of dairy exports to the US will have a much smaller impact than was first envisaged.

"This is a `once in a century opportunity'. The Institute report shows a massive benefit for New Zealand agriculture and surprisingly considerable benefits for the US.

"Exports to the US are projected to rise by a huge 51%. Only a large-scale breakthrough in multilateral WTO trade negotiations could bring a bigger gain to NZ - and that looks unlikely at the present time.

"NZ farmers who stand to gain the most will watch Helen Clark's negotiation ability with interest in the hope that she is prepared to relinquish her personal bias for more important values," Mr Jennings said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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