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Anniversary of CER: Time for Clark to Apologise

Anniversary of CER: Time for Clark to Apologise

Thursday 23 Jan 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley is calling on the Prime Minister to denounce the anti-free trade utterances contained in her Maiden Speech on April 27, 1982.

"As it is the twentieth anniversary of the CER agreement, it is timely for the Prime Minister to be upfront with the New Zealand public and assure us all that she no longer holds the views that she then espoused.

"In her Maiden Speech, Ms Clark expressed foreboding if the proposed closer economic relations with Australia were to establish an uncontrolled zone of trade between the two countries. She clearly expressed the view that New Zealand's secondary industries required protection.

"All evidence, and certainly the experience of the CER agreement, has shown that free trade generates prosperity and it is voluntary exchange and not state direction that promotes economic progress.

"Free trade promotes competition in domestic markets and allows consumers to purchase a wider range of products at cheaper prices. Conversely, tariffs, quotas, import licensing and exchange controls increase transaction costs and reduce prosperity.

"It is common knowledge that trade blockades damage economies and it makes little difference whether those trade blockades are imposed by an enemy state or self-imposed by an interventionist government.

"Hopefully our Prime Minister has changed her views," Mr Shirley said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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