Press Release – New Zealand Government

Trade Minister Todd McClay today welcomed confirmation from Labour MPs Phil Goff and David Shearer that many in the Labour caucus have not strayed as far from their free trade roots as their leader would have New Zealand believe.Hon Todd McClay

Minister of Trade
28 January 2016 Media Statement

Labour MPs’ support of TPP welcomed

Trade Minister Todd McClay today welcomed confirmation from Labour MPs Phil Goff and David Shearer that many in the Labour caucus have not strayed as far from their free trade roots as their leader would have New Zealand believe.

Both have declared their support for TPP and rejected their leader’s misplaced opposition to New Zealand’s biggest free trade deal.

“Phil Goff, as a former trade minister, knows Labour has a long history of welcoming free trade agreements, something fiercely backed by former Leader Helen Clark who said it was ‘unthinkable’ that New Zealand would not sign up to TPP,” says Mr McClay.

“Mr Goff and Mr Shearer know that free trade agreements bring jobs and growth and Andrew Little’s opposition will be a backward step, should Labour ever be in Government.”

Mr Goff this morning noted that trade agreements, such as the China FTA, required concessions from both sides.

“Just last year, Mr Goff was quoted as saying Labour is a free trade party, and that ‘you would have to be stupid as an agricultural exporting country not to be free-traders.’

“The TPP is going to be worth billions to New Zealand and, as the China and Korea FTAs have shown, will create jobs and wealth for New Zealand,” says Mr McClay.

“David Shearer is also on record as saying that if New Zealand does not trade then we will not be able to continue the prosperity that we enjoy today.

“As the Prime Minister reiterated yesterday, the National-led Government is working every day for an open, confident, and outward-looking country that is building its trade and investment links with the rest of the world.”

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