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Exporters face 25% tariff as Govt writes letters

Exporters face 25% tariff as Govt writes letters

The Government’s ‘late to the party’ approach to seeking an exemption from US tariffs on steel imports means Kiwi exporters will face avoidable extra costs in the US market, National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“While the Ardern-Peters coalition only recently got round to writing to the US, the governments of the EU, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea have all successfully delivered interim exemptions for their exporters.

“That means that today our steel exporters will be paying tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium when their competitors from those countries are not.

“What makes matters worse is the Foreign Minister has openly sympathised with the US decision to impose tariffs.

“That’s not good enough, and will be extremely disappointing for our exporters who are looking towards the Government for real leadership on trade.

“This is about more than just a tax on our steel exports. It’s about standing up for the rules-based international trading system and for free trade – something New Zealand has earned an international reputation for doing.

“Our exporters deserve more. They deserve a government that gets off the couch and on a plane and actually does its job. New Zealanders expect a government that actually believes in free trade - the Ardern-Peters coalition needs to act with urgency.”

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