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Greens tell Government to stop chasing rainbows

Greens tell Government to stop chasing rainbows

The Government's 'bold proposal' to eliminate tariffs on industrial goods is a flight of fancy that could end up costing this country much more than it saves, Green Trade spokesperson Rod Donald said today.

He was commenting on a New Zealand initiative to the WTO meeting in Geneva that tariffs on all "non-agricultural" products be scrapped.

"Typically, the Government presents only one half of the equation. Yes, exporters may save $185 million in tariffs paid to other countries, but how much would the Government lose in tariffs on imports into this country?

"More importantly, how many New Zealand manufacturers would go out of business if tariffs on items like clothing, textiles and footwear are lifted? How many skilled workers would find themselves in the dole queue?

"At least Labour hasn't unilaterally cut tariffs, as past governments have done," said Rod Donald. "But before making such a proposal it should provide a full cost/benefit analysis of its impact, so New Zealanders are under no illusion about its true worth.

"This Government is obsessed with finding a pot of gold at the end of the free trade rainbow. Instead, it should focus on genuine wealth-creation by making our economy self-reliant."

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