Beef Another Diplomatic Ball Dropped by National

NEW ZEALAND - Within one week, the government has been caught short by Russia moving to ban New Zealand beef and a slow response to some Kiwi dual-citizens entering the United States.
calendar icon 6 February 2017
clock icon 2 minute read

“Nathan Guy, the Minister for Primary Industries, has seriously dropped the ball on Russian beef exports just as he has with dairy,” says the Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First, Member of Parliament for Northland.

“Mr Guy is in no position to play diplomat having said in Parliament that it ‘does not make sense’ to negotiate a free-trade agreement with Russia. What precipitative nonsense.

“National has deliberately alienated Russia to earn brownie points with a diplomatic world that no longer exists. This is despite Russia being the world’s number two dairy importer and in 2017, is set to become the world’s number two beef importer.

“The Russians have noted National’s recent record and this is why we have the barest sliver of the Russian market, which is forecast to import 1,398,000 metric tons of beef this year.

“Our $11m, mostly beef offal exports, is a damning indictment on the incompetence of Messrs Key, McCully, Guy and Groser. In fact, what on earth is Tim Groser, our supposed ‘man in Washington,’ now doing to justify his politically appointed salary?

“Outside of the cocktail circuit, the Trump administration is unlikely to warm to obsequious individuals who describe opponents of the TPP as breathless children. New Zealand First believes we can do a real trade deal with the United States that respects our interests and theirs.

“It is how British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson quickly confirmed that British dual nationals weren’t affected by the temporarily entry ban. Here, Mr McCully blamed Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff for his own inaction.

“National needs to look in the mirror and not act like bulls in the diplomatic China shop as our exporters and citizens are suffering,” Mr Peters said.

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