The Government’s ‘Trade for All’ agenda is simply a rehash of National’s work on trade and won’t make up for plummeting business confidence caused by the Government’s anti-growth policies, National’s Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“Trade for All is nothing more than a shameless rebranding of National’s Trade Agenda 2030 which was aimed at creating opportunities for our exporters to compete on the world stage.
“But while National was consulting on Trade Agenda 2030 with businesses, exporters and the public Labour, NZ First and Green MPs were marching in the streets against the TPP.
“While the Government’s backflip on trade is welcome, it won’t be enough to turn around New Zealand’s worst business confidence levels in ten years.
“We know this is a direct result of bad policies like raising taxes, restricting foreign investment and axing oil and gas exploration – yet the Government refuses to acknowledge that, choosing instead to lecture businesses over their supposed bias.
“By the time National left office, negotiations were underway with the revised TPP, Pacific Alliance, and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and preparation for a free trade agreement with the European Union was in its final stages.
“The UK had confirmed that New Zealand would be first cab off the rank for a new FTA and pre-negotiation meetings between Ministers and officials had commenced. The US had also confirmed they were open to talks.
“Upgrades to our FTAs with China and Singapore also were underway and expected to be completed by now – though those have both been delayed, or perhaps worse, by this Government’s reckless attitude to our trading partners.
“The Government is in panic mode. It will take more than a rehash of National’s work to turn around the lowest levels of business confidence in a decade.”