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Don Brash responds to PM's 'desperate comments'

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

31 May 2004

Don Brash responds to PM's 'desperate comments'

National Party Leader Don Brash says he backs every effort to win a free trade agreement for New Zealand with the largest economy in the world, contrary to claims made by Helen Clark today.

"These appear to be desperate comments from the Prime Minister. There is absolutely no reason for me to undermine our reputation with any potential trading partner.

"On the contrary, I strongly support every effort to win a free trade agreement for New Zealand with the largest economy in the world.

"It is in the interests of all New Zealanders for us to improve our relations with important players in the global marketplace.

"It would be negligent not to make an effort to listen to, and learn more about, what our friends are saying. That's what this trip is about.

"Remember, securing a free trade deal with the US was Labour's single biggest foreign policy objective and they have failed miserably. It would be irresponsible of any incoming government not to try to repair the damage.

"Unless we succeed, the gap with Australia will widen further and that's most definitely not in New Zealand's best interests," says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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