How much is Jacinda’s ignored letter to Donald Trump costing our exporters?

Jacinda Ardern told us that it was all OK for our steel and aluminium exporters; she’d written a letter to the President she marched against and whom she insulted when she first met him.

How much is that ignored letter costing our exporters now?

The Government’s ‘late to the party’ approach to seeking an exemption from US tariffs on steel imports means Kiwi exporters will face avoidable extra costs in the US market, National’s Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“While the Ardern-Peters coalition only recently got round to writing to the US, the governments of the EU, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea have all successfully delivered interim exemptions for their exporters.

“That means that today our steel exporters will be paying tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium when their competitors from those countries are not.

“What makes matters worse is the Foreign Minister has openly sympathised with the US decision to impose tariffs.

“That’s not good enough, and will be extremely disappointing for our exporters who are looking towards the Government for real leadership on trade.

“This is about more than just a tax on our steel exports. It’s about standing up for the rules-based international trading system and for free trade – something New Zealand has earned an international reputation for doing.

“Our exporters deserve more. They deserve a government that gets off the couch and on a plane and actually does its job. New Zealanders expect a government that actually believes in free trade – the Ardern-Peters coalition needs to act with urgency.”

Virtue signalling doesn’t work when you deal with real politicians and real business people. Our steel and aluminium exporters are finding that out right now.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.