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Tariff decision a vicious blow - Sutton

2000 web siteThe unilateral US decision to impose a tax on New Zealand lamb has provoked an angry response in Parliament.

When news of the 9% tariff barrier came through this morning, Acting Chairperson, Labour agriculture spokesperson Jim Sutton, suspended Primary Production Select Committee hearings in order that committee members could respond.

"This is the ugly face of America, the bully throwing its weight around," Mr Sutton said.

"This attack on our trade is not justified by the facts of the situation. It is inconsistent with the principles of fair trade and honourable international practice.

"In fact, it is sheer hypocrisy on the part of the American administration, which is putting partisan political advantage ahead of the true interests of the nation."

Mr Sutton said that under the circumstances, it would be unwise for President Clinton to come to New Zealand for APEC in September.

"He wouldn't be welcome. Farmers could be out on the streets and he is certain to be embarrassed.

"This is a more vicious blow against New Zealand than the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior."

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