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Q+A: Corin Dann interviews US Ambassador Scott Brown

Q+A: Corin Dann interviews US Ambassador Scott Brown

Please find the full transcript of the interview between Corin Dann and the US Ambassador to NZ, Scott Brown attached and you can view the interview here.

1. On the US steel tariffs and New Zealand:

AMBASSADOR: Listen, I can’t disclose a lot publicly, but now that we’ve gotten the Kiwi Act done and we have the TIFA process starting, we’re going to go back to that and revisit it. And I speak with Ambassador Groser as recently as this morning, so it’s a priority with me, and I know it’s a priority for the New Zealand government.

CORIN So still hopeful.

AMBASSADOR: Absolutely.

2. What New Zealanders tell him about President Donald Trump:

AMBASSADOR : First of all, we love it, and I have informal poll, I’ll say 40, 35-40% go like this. They go… ‘I love your guy. Shh. Don’t say anything.’

CORIN Really?

AMBASSADOR: Absolutely. And then the other maybe 25%, they say, ‘You know what — I love what he’s doing, man. I just don’t like how he’s doing it.’ And then the other group say, ‘Hey, I hate you; I hate him. Just get out of my face.’ So I look at that as, like, a 66 — you know, 33— 66 is two-thirds and 33 and a third — because when I tell them, ‘Listen, forget about the tweets. Forget about the personality. Let’s look at North Korea.’ We got our POW MIAs back. We got the hostages back. They’re talking.

They didn’t send him to the White House to kind of be like everyone else — a go-along, get-along guy; they sent him there to basically change the way we were doing business.

3. On New Zealand’s relationship with the US:

CORIN So, given that, would you like to see New Zealand move to becoming a full ally again?

AMBASSADOR: That’s a very sensitive question. I already consider it a strong friend and partner. You know, for me, it’s just words. I mean, there’s nothing— For example, when you had your earthquakes and the fires, and we were here, it was a seamless helping. When we’ve asked for help on the war on terror, it’s seamless, so if you want to get into semantics, it doesn’t matter to me.

CORIN Well, let me rephrase it another way. Is there a feeling in the US that the US— You know, the relationships after the period of the nuclear issues, it’s been steadily getting better.

AMBASSADOR That was so long ago. It’s fantastic. It’s off the charts fantastic.

CORIN So is the next stage to go to the full ally position?

AMBASSADOR I’m not sure what that means politically, quite honestly. I haven’t done the deep dive. What does ally mean versus being a partner?


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