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Cullen comes clean on trade impasse


Cullen comes clean on trade impasse

Dr Lockwood Smith - National Trade Spokesperson

The Government has, at last, ended its denial with Dr Cullen publicly acknowledging that New Zealand’s attempt to negotiate a free trade agreement with the United States has reached an impasse over our anti-nuclear legislation, says National’s Trade spokesperson, Dr Lockwood Smith.

“Only last week, US Trade Ambassador Robert Zoellick, in a major speech linking trade and security, outlined a ten-point action agenda which put a deal with Australia second on the list, but totally excluded New Zealand.

“National is not saying New Zealand should change its anti-nuclear powered ships legislation. What a responsible government should do is establish an independent inquiry into our trade and security relationship with the United States.

“The terms of reference should include an examination of the changes that have occurred with respect to nuclear propulsion since the mid 1980’s.

“Such an inquiry would, I believe, be positively received in Washington and could in itself help break the trade deal impasse.

“This is not a question of New Zealand letting go its principles just to please the United States. It is a case of responsible government letting New Zealanders have the full facts on a hugely important issue,” says Dr Smith.

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