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When are you going to admit you're wrong Goff

When are you going to admit you're wrong Goff

Dear Mr Goff

Re: New Zealand/US Free Trade Agreement

Today the United States of America has signed a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore. According to the New York Times, Franklin L. Lavin, the US Ambassador to Singapore, said it was the US Administration's policy, after the war in Iraq, of "working with friends".

Also according to the New York Times, "When the President announced the signing ceremony, he praised Singapore not for its economic strength and global trading strategy but for being a `strong partner in the war on terrorism, and a member of the coalition on Iraq.' Unspoken was the policy - to punish those nations that did not support the United States in the war...Chile lost that honor by refusing to support the United States in its call for war at the United Nations Security Council, where Chile is a member".

US Trade Representative Bob Zoellick was quoted as saying "We worked very closely with our Chilean partners. We hoped for their support in a time that we felt was very important."

Given this very tangible evidence that the United States does not attempt to separate Trade from Foreign Policy, and is angered by its allies' failure to support a war they considered crucial to National Security, do you still insist that New Zealand has as much of a chance of achieving a Free Trade Agreement with the US in the near future?

It is time the New Zealand Government publicly acknowledges your repeated claim that America does not link Trade and Foreign Policy is wrong. America does link the issues.

Is it still Labour's policy to achieve a Free Trade Agreement with the US - as stated by the Prime Minister Helen Clark in her statement to Parliament on 11 February this year? If so, when is this to be achieved?

Please tell me when you do expect that New Zealand will be invited to sign its own Free Trade Agreement with the United States? Yours sincerely

Hon Richard Prebble CBE Leader, ACT NZ

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