What cost free trade?

Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Keith Locke has congratulated National’s Lockwood Smith on reaching the same conclusion as the Greens: a Free Trade deal with the United States can only be bought by going to war.

“Dr Smith has been sent back with a message from his friends in Washington to say that a free trade deal hinges on New Zealand committing troops to an attack on Iraq and to lifting our anti-nuclear legislation,” said Keith Locke.

“To do either of these things would be to surrender our independence and sovereignty and to make us no more than another South Pacific proxy of the United States.

“And for what? New Zealand’s experience of so-called ‘free trade’ deals have been lost jobs, falling exports and duplicity on the part of our ‘partners.’ There is no reason to suggest a deal with the United States would be any more advantageous to us.

“Given that New Zealand cannot possibly sell-off its sovereignty over such a deal, it is essential that this Government does all it can to distance itself from the crazy path that Bush has embarked on,” Keith Locke said.

“We should stop being part of America’s wars, withdraw our SAS troops from the US-led army in Afghanistan and bring home the New Zealand officers currently stationed at the US Central Command in Florida, where the war against Iraq is being planned.”