Prime Minister John Key says free trade will lift kiwi incomes:
National today released a set of policies that reinforces the Party’s commitment to openness with the world as the path to lift New Zealanders’ incomes, in contrast with opposition parties that want to isolate us from the rest of the world.
“New Zealand’s economic prosperity relies on selling our goods and services to the rest of the world,” says National Party Leader John Key. “The fewer barriers there are for our exporters, the better off New Zealanders will be.”
“That is why as Prime Minister I have been working hard on behalf of New Zealanders to crack open more doors to free trade, alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Trade Minister Tim Groser.
“This includes pushing for a high-quality free trade agreement under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes economic giants like the United States and Japan.
“The choice for voters in this area, like so many others, is stark.
“The Greens want to end free trade and Labour, riven by caucus division, is very confused about what it wants after previously being in favour of free trade. The Dotcom party, of course, is totally opposed to free trade.
“There can be no doubt that this combination in government would damage the cause of New Zealand’s exporters and damage New Zealand’s economic prosperity.
“Raising barriers to the rest of the world and halting the momentum of trade agreements with key markets like the US, Japan and Korea, would be disastrous,” says Mr Key.
“Our policy to encourage free trade is one of the most important ways we can become more prosperous.
“Trade agreements allow New Zealand companies to access big international markets as if they were part of New Zealand’s domestic market. For a small country they are hugely important.”
Mr Key made the comments at the opening of the New Zealand Winegrowers conference in Blenheim today as National released its Trade, Foreign Affairs and Tourism policies.
“The wine industry is a leading example of New Zealand companies thriving on the world stage,” says Mr Key.
“The policies we are releasing today show our commitment to remaining open to trade with the world, having an independent foreign policy, and encouraging and supporting our crucial tourism industry.
“Should National have the privilege of forming a government after the election, I would continue as Minister of Tourism, working hard to promote New Zealand as a tourism destination,” he says.
Mr Key also announced along with Education Minister Hekia Parata that the National Government has decided to create a $10 million fund over five years to increase the provision of Asian languages in schools.
“These policies together demonstrate National is committed to seeing New Zealand remaining open to the world, continuing to generate economic prosperity through good relations with other countries, and lowering barriers to trade.”
New Zealand would not be where it is economically or socially if it wasn’t for the free trade agreements negotiated by successive governments.
Until recently National and Labour have had a reasonable degree of consensus on the importance of free trade.
That is no longer the case.
Labour is back tracking on its commitment to open borders and it would be dragged further back if it needed the support of the Green, New Zealand First and Internet Mana parties to govern.
Only a National-led government will guarantee continuing focus on free trade and the economic and social benefits which come from that.