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Business as usual - no sight of free trade deal

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

04 November 2004

Business as usual - still no sight of free trade deal

National Party Leader Don Brash is congratulating George Bush on winning a second term as US President.

"Helen Clark has said that it is very much a case of 'business as usual' for New Zealand. I'm sure that will be a sobering thought for many, including Labour, who had hopes of securing a free trade deal.

"Achieving a free trade deal with the US was the single biggest foreign policy objective of the Helen Clark-led Government.

"But it has failed miserably. In fact, we are not even on the waiting list, behind countries including Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Guatemala and Honduras.

"Without a free trade deal, New Zealand's decline in relation to Australia will accelerate. That means even more of our brightest young talent will be tempted to move to greener pastures across the Tasman.

"New Zealand must have a strong, credible, independent voice on the world stage. But in order to achieve that, we need to be able to disagree with the US, without firing insults at each other through the international media," says Dr Brash.

ENDS


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