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NZ/US FTA: PM's New York Speech: "You Go Girl"

13 December 2002 TLN Media Release

's New York Speech: "You Go Girl"

The Trade Liberalisation Network was pleased to see the Prime Minister make a strong plug for freeing up global trade in her speech to the Asia Society in New York this morning.

Executive Director, Suse Reynolds, strongly backed the Prime Minister's prioritisation in the speech.

"New Zealand business stands to gain far more from a successful Doha Development Round than we do from one off free trade agreements. There should be no doubt however of the tremendous impact an NZ/US FTA would also have on New Zealand's economy.

"New Zealand needs to keep the pressure on the US Administration. The PM was right to take USTR Ambassador Zoellick's 13 November as an invitation to continue to make the case for an FTA," said Reynolds.

"If Washington's reluctance to move sooner on an FTA reflects concern about the openness of our economy, particularly our agriculture sector, exposing the US to a more immediate examination of its own policy then engaging with us now might allay some of those concerns."

New Zealand has been held up as an example of the benefits of opening up an economy for a number of years.

"This example could be tremendously useful to the US. New Zealand would surely be only too happy to start work on ways of conveying this message to US agricultural interests," Reynolds added.


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