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Prime Minister, all PR no action on trade

26 September 2019

The Prime Minister’s Climate Change and Trade announcement overnight in New York is disappointing with only four countries signed up. New Zealand exporters need more action not PR spin, National’s Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“The previous National Government was advancing policy in this area.

“New Zealand played a leading role in the Environmental Goods Agreement Negotiation with about 40 countries, including the European Union, Japan, United States of America and China.

“The TPP also included significant environmental provisions.

“This Government’s Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability is a pale imitation of the work the previous National Government was undertaking. The TPP was the first of its kind to include environmental provisions and included some of the biggest countries, as well as developing countries.

“The Prime Minister’s agreement has only had five countries sign up, including New Zealand. The other four countries are Fiji, Costa Rica, Iceland and Norway, which have a combined population of less than 20 million people.

“For only four other countries to sign up to the Prime Minister’s initiative is embarrassing, but not surprising. Did the Prime Minister even ask the European Union to join when she met with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, or the United Kingdom when meeting with Prime Minister Johnson? We know climate change was barely mentioned with President Trump.

“The Prime Minister’s focus is right, we support eliminating tariffs on environmental goods, but her actions aren’t following. The Prime Minister needs less PR hype and more delivery on New Zealand’s trade agenda.”


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