Govt seeks input on trade policy

Trade Minister David Parker. Photo: Getty Images
Trade Minister David Parker. Photo: Getty Images
The Government has launched a Trade for All agenda that critics say is a rehash of a National Party policy and a waste of time.

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker has invited all New Zealanders to have their say on what matters to them on trade policy and in trade agreements.

Trade policy was integral to the Government's move to modernise the economy and support businesses and exporters in the face of economic headwinds internationally.

The Government wanted the benefits of trade to be felt throughout the country, not just in the major cities, he said.

''We want benefits to flow to our farmers and farm workers, to tech entrepreneurs and those who code software.

''We want small and medium-sized businesses, women and Maori - who haven't always benefited as much as big business from trade deals - to succeed on the global stage.''

At the same time, the environment needed to be protected, Mr Parker said.

National Party foreign affairs and trade spokesman Todd McClay said the Trade for All was nothing more than a ''shameless rebranding'' of National's Trade Agenda 2030, which was aimed at creating opportunities for Kiwi exporters to compete on the world stage.

''While National was consulting on Trade Agenda 2030 with businesses, exporters and the public, Labour, New Zealand First and Green MPs were marching in the streets against the Trans Pacific Partnership.''

Mr Parker said public meetings and hui would be held throughout the country from mid-August to mid-October.

A Trade for All advisory board would start work soon. The board would bring together experts with a wide range of views, knowledge and experience to make their recommendations on progressive, sustainable and inclusive trade policy.

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