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Abolishing Tariffs Is A Good Idea

Ignore The Flack - Abolishing Tariffs Is A Good Idea

It's inevitable the Government's proposal to eliminate tariffs on non-agricultural goods will attract some flack.

The Trade Liberalisation Network's (TLN) Executive Director Suse Reynolds has urged that it be ignored and strongly supports this latest negotiating initiative.

"Anything which sharpens New Zealand traders' competitive edge must be welcomed," she said.

"There is no doubt that New Zealand industry and New Zealand employees have the skills and the expertise to cut it at the high value end of any market - be it agricultural or non-agricultural. Retaining tariffs is not sending that signal."

"The Government's detractors argue that jobs are going to be lost. That's probably true but strategies are in place to soften the adjustment. And the reality is that if these jobs needed tariffs to protect them they were never going to have great long term prospects.

"Doesn't it make more sense to encourage those who might be adversely affected to look sooner rather than later at up-skilling or for work in industries which compete without the muffling effects of Government assistance?" Reynolds asked.

"The Government is sending a strident message to its trading partners that it's serious about trade liberalisation. We shouldn'tforget that APEC countries that have continued to liberalise in the last ten years have created more than 195 million new jobs. New Zealand workers were included in that number."

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