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Advance Australia Trade!

PRESS RELEASE Brian Connell, MP For Rakaia
Spokesperson for Commerce

10 February 2004

Advance Australia Trade!

"Kiwis will be losing jobs and export dollars as our manufacturers relocate to the more attractive Australian market place," predicts Brian Connell, National's Spokesman for Commerce.

"Australia's business environment has just been enhanced and the new Free Trade agreement will provide vastly increased market scope for their products. Here they face rising compliance costs, anti-business legislation and a Government determined to get themselves deleted from the United States' list of potential trade partners!"

"Australia has gained breathtaking cuts in industrial tariffs and the right to tender for lucrative US Federal Government procurement programmes, in addition to advances for their agricultural sector."

"Labour can't afford to ignore reality any longer. Two of our biggest trading partners have done a deal without us. Helen's petty dislike of big business and the American Government will send our companies, our jobs and our ambitious young people over the Tasman as never before." Those who dismiss the trade deal as having little significance should think again. From Australia's perspective, this is a pragmatic deal which has opened the door to direct trade access with the sole world superpower."

The implications for our rural sector are there for all to see. Two thirds of all agricultural tariffs have been removed with sheep meat and wool big winners. The beef tariff reductions will take 18 years but this belies the fact that their quota has been significantly increased." "Four years ago New Zealand was a co-partner of Australia as it tried to broker a deal with the US. Now, because of this Government's arrogance and blatant anti-Americanism we have been cut adrift. The Australian deal is just a starting point. The cost to New Zealand will be counted in the billions in the years to come."

Ends


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