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Labour confirms Korean trade deal at risk

12 September 2017

Labour confirms Korean trade deal at risk

Labour must come clean about its plans to renegotiate the Korean free trade agreement which is worth billions to New Zealand’s economy and supports thousands of jobs, National’s Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Jacinda Ardern has said this morning she wants to renegotiate New Zealand’s trade agreement with South Korea – a trading relationship which is already worth more than $4 billion a year to our economy,” Mr McClay says.

“This is another example of ill-thought out and vague Labour policy made up on the hoof. It’s simply not good enough for Jacinda Ardern to put the economic fortunes of New Zealand at risk along with thousands of jobs and businesses.

“Labour even seems to think it could renegotiate this deal by Christmas when it took five years to negotiate in the first place.

“That’s just not credible. Where is the detail on how they would do it? And what concessions would they be prepared to give away in return?

“New Zealand is a small country dependent on trade with exports supporting 620,000 jobs and contributing more than $70 billion to our economy every year.

“Labour already wants to tax New Zealanders out of business. Now want to renegotiate them out of business too.

“The Korean FTA provides greater access for New Zealand forestry, dairy, beef, lamb and kiwifruit, along with opportunities for education, science and technology – it’s our sixth-largest export destination.

“How can our exporters plan to grow or invest or hire more staff when there is no certainty?

“Voters have a right to know what they are voting for. Labour must front up with the detail,” Mr McClay says.

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