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Compelling Vision In Trade Agreement With The US


Media release

15 March 2002

Compelling Vision In Trade Agreement With The United States, Says Trade Network

A report by the Washington based Institute for International Economics shows there are strong economic, political and trade policy reasons for the launch of negotiations towards a Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) between New Zealand and the United States.

Trade Liberalisation Network Executive Director Stephen Jacobi stressed that the report set out “a compelling vision” for a NZ/US CEP. “New Zealand exports to the United States are projected to rise by between 51 and 49 percent. Just as significant, a CEP would make a major contribution to advancing freer trade and spreading the rule of trade law both in the Asia Pacific region and more generally in the World Trade Organisation”.

The report’s co-author Dr Fred Bergsten is the United States’ foremost trade economist. He was assisted by Dr Rob Scollay of the University of Auckland’s APEC Study Centre.

Mr Jacobi said the report finds good reasons for the US to be interested in a CEP with New Zealand. “A strategic linkage between the US and CER would assist the US to help restart and accelerate the momentum of trade liberalisation. This concept fits in well with broader US vision. By fostering, innovation, strategic investment and entrepreneurship it would fit in with our Government’s vision for returning New Zealand to growth levels above the OECD average”.

The Bergsten report concludes that the benefits from an agreement would be greater if New Zealand and Australia could negotiate as CER partners. “The key to unlocking this negotiation lies in CER as a model for others to follow. This is the model that needs to be advanced during the Prime Minister’s forthcoming visit to Washington” concluded Mr Jacobi.

For further information:

Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, Cell 021 490 974


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