Labour's lack of focus has cost the New Zealand economy a massive opportunity at a time when we most need to kick start it, National Leader Judith Collins says.
The announcement that the UK and Japanese governments have struck a post-Brexit trade deal in advance of New Zealand means that for the second time in 24 hours, Labour has let a major economic benefit slip from our grasp.
"This result comes as an even bigger blow to the economy than the $100 million dollar hit from losing the Rugby Championship hosting rights.
"From the minute the Brexit result was clear, National made being at the front of the queue a priority.
"When then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited New Zealand in July 2017 - under a National Government – he said that New Zealand was "at or near" the front of the queue for an FTA.
"New Zealand officials have been extensively consulted by the UK government on how to strike free trade deals.
“Labour's lack of political nous has meant that we haven't managed to get attention from the political decision makers in Westminster.
"Labour has lost ground to other nations as it pursues a woke foreign policy, at the expense of Kiwi jobs.
"A National Government would make negotiating trade deals with the UK, the European Union and the United States a priority.
"Our exporters need greater market access to help our economy expand and build our international markets – to create jobs.
“Having first mover advantage would have allowed our exporters to start building their market share ahead of other countries.
“The UK was our largest market until it joined the protectionist European bloc, by opening to trade, this is a major opportunity to claim our traditional markets back.
“Improving trade access is part of National’s strong plan to build our economy and create jobs.”
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