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Bendon + trade deficit = free trade failure

The closure of the Te Aroha Bendon factory today and yesterday's $2.274 billion trade deficit for the year ended October reinforces the failure of National's free trade policies, says the Green Party.

The deficit was five times greater than the October 1998 deficit and takes the cumulative deficit for the last five years to over $4.5 billion.

"The trade figures and the Bendon factory closure are the last nails in National's coffin," said Green co-leader Rod Donald.

"While the trade figures statistically highlight National's appalling mismanagement of the economy, the job losses in Te Aroha sheet home the tragic consequences in human terms.

"The Green Party looks forward to reversing job losses and reducing the trade deficit as part of the next government.

"Our 'Go Organic' strategy will increase the value of our primary exports and our 'Buy Local' strategy will reduce our dependence on imports.

"A lot of work needs to be done to turn the economy around - our sleeves are rolled up and we are keen to get stuck in," Mr Donald said.



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