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Lockwood Smith Challenges Alliance On Trade Policy

Trade Minister Lockwood Smith has given Jim Anderton a month to come clean with New Zealand families and outline the detail of the Alliance's policy on import tariffs.

During an oral question in Parliament today, Dr Smith referred to Jim Anderton's recent statements that demonstrate the Alliance's commitment to re-apply tariffs on imported goods, including:

"New Zealand's 'free trade' policies need a rethink."
Jim Anderton, Alliance Media Statement, 17 June 1999
"If we don't do something about that [tariffs] ... soon then we'll be an economic basket case."
Jim Anderton, Morning Report, 17 August 1999

"Jim Anderton has always managed to avoid saying what products will be subject to new tariffs under a Labour-Alliance Government, and that's got to stop. Tariffs are a direct tax on New Zealand's importers and consumers, and it's a fact that new tariffs would raise living costs for New Zealand families.

"I challenge the Alliance to come clean with New Zealanders - to outline the detail of its plans for new tariffs by 1 October 1999.

"Without the detail of the Alliance policy, New Zealand families are out in the cold. They can't make a rational decision without knowing what products will be more expensive under a Labour-Alliance Government.

"I know Jim Anderton values the principles of transparency and informed consent, and that he wouldn't want voters to be left in the dark by a policy devoid of detail.

"I'm looking forward to receiving the detail of the Alliance's trade policy by the end of this month," Dr Smith concluded.

ENDS

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