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No slowing in trade's trend down

Hon Lockwood Smith MP National Party Trade Spokesman

27 August 2003

No slowing in trade's trend down

"The Government is failing to put the brakes on a disturbing downward trend in trade," says National Party Trade spokesman Lockwood Smith.

Figures out today show the biggest trade deficit in 17 years, with the exception of July 1997, when the frigate HMNZS Te Kaha was imported.

"The strong dollar coupled with low commodity prices is placing extreme pressure on our exporters' bottom lines.

"And this Labour Government is showing no mercy to our most productive export-earning sectors.

"The Government has introduced 18 new taxes and they are well on the road to implementing another seven.

"These ever-increasing compliance costs are forcing some New Zealand exporters to breaking-point.

"Exporters are the backbone of our economy, and by continually hammering them with increasing costs the Government is ensuring that New Zealand will never get back into the top half of the OECD", says Dr Smith.

"The July figure follows last month's revelation of a $3 billion drop in year on year export income.

"The deficit can't continue to rise without eventually flowing through to the rest of the economy and the Government needs to recognise that," Dr Smith says.


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