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NZ congratulates Australia, US on FTA

NZ congratulates Australia, US on FTA

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today congratulated Australian and United States negotiators for concluding a bilateral free trade agreement.

Mr Goff said New Zealand had always supported the idea of an AUSFTA.

"While this was obviously a long and difficult negotiating process, I am pleased that the two sides have been able to reach a deal which satisfies their national interests.

Mr Goff said the New Zealand government would be studying the final text closely once it was released.

"Even though both Australia and the US may not have been able to get everything they wanted in this agreement, nonetheless every step towards greater trade liberalisation is to be welcomed.

"Australia is our largest trading partner and the US our third largest. Anything that strengthens either economy creates opportunity for New Zealand. Diversion of Australian trade from other markets to the US also potentially opens up opportunities for New Zealand.

"Conversely, as a CER partner, there is in the reduction of trade barriers between Australia and the US some risk of investment and trade diversion from New Zealand.

"As far as New Zealand is concerned, we remain interested in the possibility of a bilateral free trade agreement of our own with the United States, and we will continue to raise this with the US administration.

"We believe that the integration of the Australian and New Zealand economies means that negotiations with New Zealand in due course would be a logical step.

Mr Goff said that as well as continuing to pursue an FTA with the United States, New Zealand would be working closely with Australia, the US and other partners interested in pushing ahead with the Doha Development Round for global trade liberalisation.


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