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Today National launches our second policy discussion document, on International Affairs. It shows how important our actions overseas are to Kiwis, and how we can ensure those actions deliver for all New Zealanders, National Leader Simon Bridges says.

“Our international relations policy outlines a plan for ensuring our presence internationally acts in the best interests of New Zealand. That means advancing relationships, promoting our values, enhancing security, and extending trade partnerships to create growth and opportunities for all New Zealanders.

“We will ensure trade continues to deliver new opportunities for New Zealanders.

“We are committed to launching, negotiating and concluding a comprehensive free trade agreement with the United States of America.

“National will prioritise our relationship with the United States, and leverage the strong security, economic and political ties with them to bring this important initiative into action.

“National will also further the strong and dynamic economic relationship with China. We will set an ambitious goal of doubling two-way trade between China and New Zealand to $60 billion by 2030.

“Strong trading relationships are valuable to our island nation. Free trade supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across our country and brings about higher incomes for everyday Kiwis.

“In foreign policy, National will ensure we reflect New Zealanders’ values clearly on the world stage. Over the past few years we have seen the emergence of new threats to our freedoms and liberties. We should be prepared to stand against those who would seek to undermine our values.

“That’s why we’re proposing to pass legislation to empower New Zealand to autonomously sanction organisations when the United Nations is unable or unwilling to do so.

“National will also ensure our foreign policy services the public and is accountable to New Zealanders. New Zealanders should be included in our foreign policy. We should be seeing more information, debate and dialogue in our country about our international activities.

“Whether it be in our development assistance or the agreements we seek internationally, our international engagement reflects the values that we project as a nation. To do that we must be more open and transparent with New Zealanders about what it is we are doing on the international stage.

“We would seek more Parliamentary debate, more accountability in our spending, and raise the question of whether Parliament should approve trade deals before they are signed.

“Our International Affairs document outlines an ambitious approach to deliver for all New Zealanders through our relationships with our international partners. Through our relationships overseas we can deliver new opportunities and provide better security for our people.

“National is committed to putting forward policies that will improve the lives of New Zealanders. Today’s launch is part of the biggest policy development process by an Opposition in over a decade.

“We’re working hard now so that should we earn the right to govern again in 2020, we will hit the ground running.”

A link to the International Affairs Discussion Document can be found HERE.

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