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Report On US/NZ Free Trade Agreement Welcomed


Report On US/NZ Free Trade Agreement Welcomed

"The Bergsten report for the United States – New Zealand Council is an excellent analysis of the benefits to both countries of a comprehensive free trade agreement", Dr Murray Horn, chairman of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, said today.

Dr Horn said that the report rightly recognised that the gains from an agreement would not be confined to trade in goods and services.

"An FTA would help put New Zealand on the map in the US business and investment communities. It would link New Zealand more closely to the world's most innovative and productive economy, and increase our understanding of US technological, entrepreneurial and cultural strengths. And, as the Bergsten report notes, it would contribute to international trade liberalisation."

"The report also makes the point that an FTA would recognise New Zealand's economic reforms of the last two decades and thus offer incentives for other countries to adopt similar policies. The United States is giving priority in its trade policy to countries with high levels of economic freedom, and New Zealand should be well placed to attract favourable attention in Washington on this criterion."

Dr Horn said that the benefits of an FTA would be enhanced if New Zealand and Australia worked together to promote it as a CER project, even if Australia led the way. "I have written to Dr John Schubert, president of the Business Council of Australia (the counterpart of the New Zealand Business Roundtable), commending the merits of a joint approach."

Dr Horn said that the vice-chairman of the Business Roundtable, Rob McLeod, would be accompanying the prime minister, Helen Clark, on her forthcoming visit to Washington.

For further information:
Email: rkerr@nzbr.org.nz
Website: www.nzbr.org.nz

15 March 2002

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