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NZ First being silly

NZ First being silly

NZ First was "being silly" over its scaremongering about a potential trade agreement between New Zealand and China, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton rubbished Mr Peters' claim that China was using New Zealand as a political pawn to gain entry into the World trade Organisation.

"China has been a member of the World Trade Organisation for almost four years now!"

Mr Sutton also rubbished Mr Peters' claim that dairy would not be included in any trade agreement with China.

"Dairy is a hugely important industry to New Zealand, and we will not be signing a trade agreement that does not include that sector. China is already an important market for New Zealand dairy products. I am certain that China will not lose any sleep over the prospect that New Zealand with between 2 and 3 per cent of world milk production, might somehow swamp the Chinese domestic market with 20 per cent of the world's consumers and limited potential for milk production."

He said China already had generally open access to our economy.

"The trade agreement is to ensure that our businesses can obtain much the same sort of access to the Chinese market ? something one would have thought Mr Peters would be in favour of, as he claims to back exporters."

Business and union representatives were actively involved in the negotiating process, Mr Sutton said, and their input was important.

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