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Import News: Alliance Announces 5% Tariff

Alliance Announces 5% Tariff

Import News from the Importers Institute
8 September 1999 –

Alliance Announces 5% Tariff

The Alliance today announced that it would impose a five percent tariff on imports, excluding Australian goods. The Alliance Leader, Mr Jim Anderton, said that this measure would be "temporary" but did not elaborate on how long it would last. Mr Anderton said that the impact on the consumer would be the same as an 85 cents bar of American Hershey's chocolate, for each $100 spent.

The Importers Institute says that New Zealanders would have to add five percent to the cost of petrol, pharmaceuticals, raw materials, machinery, cars, and many other things, besides American Hershey bars.

Mr Anderton claimed that this "modest tariff" would create at least 26,000 jobs, but did not explain how. Mr Gerry Brownlee, a National MP, described the Alliance's tariff policy as "plain stupid" and claimed that this tariff, coupled with the Alliance's proposal to reverse tax cuts of recent years and the expected 3 percent rise in interest rates in the event of an Alliance-Labour government, would cost New Zealand families at least $192 per week. Or, to use Mr Anderton's analogy, 8,486 bars of American Hershey's chocolate.

At the time of writing, there was no comment from the Labour Party. It is unclear whether this is due to Ms Clark and Mr Cullen being dumbfounded by this policy or to a desire not to antagonise Mr Anderton, the Minister of Economic Development-designate in a Labour/Alliance Cabinet.

The Importers Institute wishes to reassure readers of Import News that this is not a sick joke.

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