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Salmon ban another blow to free trade myth

Jim Anderton MP The myth of free trade has suffered another blow following an Australian supermarket's ban on raw New Zealand salmon, Alliance leader Jim Anderton says.

Major Australian supermarket chain Coles is refusing to stock New Zealand salmon, after the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service last month lifted a 24-year ban on imports of uncooked salmon. Coles is to stock only Tasmanian salmon.

Jim Anderton says the Coles decision shows that free trade is a myth. New Zealand has removed all protect ion for domestic industries when no other country was prepared to do the same.

'The Coles decision shows that other countries have many devices other than tariffs to disadvantage our exports and they use them because they recognise the value of protecting their own industries.

'Coles decided to block our salmon because they recognise there is a significant business advantage to them in supporting their own industry. Unfortunately in New Zealand we never take the same approach, so we are losing out both ways.

'If even the Australians are prepared to block imports from New Zealand, imagine what other countries will do.

'Our government goes around removing every form of tariff protection regardless of the cost and then expects other countries to do the same. But other countries won't do the same.

'If any country was going to cooperate on free trade it would be Australia, because of CER and because it has used the same rhetoric as New Zealand over the US decision to block our lamb trade.

'But when it comes down to a choice between a threat to the viability of an Australian industry or allowing New Zealand imports in, the Australians have shown that they, too, have to put their own country first.

'New Zealand is the only country in the world that doesn't do the same and we are all the poorer for it,' Jim Anderton said.

ENDS


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