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Anderton's comments damage relationship with U.S.


Anderton's comments further damage relationship with US

Jim Anderton's comments defending the Prime Minister's criticism of the United States will only deteriorate the already strained relationship between New Zealand and the United States, says National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr Wayne Mapp.

"The United States took offence at Helen Clark playing the role of an anti American foreign affairs commentator. Any democratic country with a democratic leader is going to take offence at her comments which amounted to saying we 'wish you weren't elected President'.

"Helen Clark has never apologised for this blunder, only for any offence taken by her comments. For the United States that compounded the offensiveness to the point where they responded publicly. "Jim Anderton is trying to defend the indefensible. Helen Clark has condoned Mr Anderton's attack on the United States. Labour and Mr Anderton are trying cover the Prime Minister's blunder with the spin that the United States is bullying New Zealand. This is not the case, and that approach will only damage the relationship further.

"New Zealand producers and the New Zealand economy will suffer as a result. We are not only losing the opportunity for free trade with the United States, we are going to lose our current trade with the US to Australia.

"Sadly for New Zealand Jim Anderton's attack, supported by Helen Clark, mean the death knell for any free trade deal with the US," Dr Mapp said.


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