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Trade figures show need for tariffs

The Alliance said today's appalling trade deficit figures show an urgent need to address New Zealand's trade balance by introducing tariffs.

New Zealanders spent $457 million more than they earned last month on foreign imports. This is a 133% increase on last October's deficit of $196 million.

'We have a $2.27 billion trade deficit for the year and the balance of payments is not only continuing to deteriorate but is completely out of control,' Alliance leader Jim Anderton said.

'We are drowning in a sea of foreign imports and foreign debt. National and Act have no solutions to our worsening trade problem.

'We will see the dollar weaken and interest rates increase based on this deficit result alone.

'Only the Alliance has a comprehensive costed plan to stop the tide of foreign imports swamping our shores and reduce overseas debt.

'A modest 5% tariff on imports from countries other than Australia will also create at least 26,000 jobs and save another 33,000 in industries facing tariff cuts.

'Tomorrow is the last day for workers at the Bendon plant in Te Aroha. 376 jobs have been lost as a result of Bendon moving overseas caused by the flood of cheap imports which has contributed to our appalling trade deficit.

'National and Act's economic management of the country is as bad as their appalling political management. The election cannot come too soon for the New Zealand economy,' Jim Anderton said.

Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance

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