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US confirms: NZ's foreign policy hurts trade

US confirms: New Zealand’s foreign policy hurting trade chances

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith - National Trade Spokesperson

A far-reaching speech by US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick yesterday excluded New Zealand from a ten-point agenda for trade, says National’s Trade spokesman Lockwood Smith.

“After completing free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore, Mr Zoellick says the next step for the US will be to pursue free trade agreements with new partners such as Morocco and possibly Australia.

“Pointedly, Mr Zoellick never mentions New Zealand. He says that “The connection between trade and America’s security is often better understood overseas.” He praises Australia for contributing to regional security, and other countries that were quick to support America after September 11th.

“This is the most explicit confirmation yet that New Zealand’s lack of a relationship with the US is hurting our economic prospects.

“Mr Zoellick confirms that a trade deal with Australia is a possibility, and notes that “Australia is a great friend to America.” Even countries in Southern Africa and Central America are listed as having better prospects of a free trade deal than New Zealand.

“These comments from the US administration are disappointing, but no surprise. It is confirmation that the Labour Party’s traditional anti-Americanism is hurting our trade prospects,” said Dr Smith.

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