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NZ could play a role in stabilising US economy

Nov 16th, 2012 | By | Category: Lead Story, News

CLOSE TIES: Prime Minister John Key speaking in front of an Obama poster.

BARACK Obama’s re-election means New Zealand could play a role in stabilising America’s economy and help its own.

A free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific rim would create jobs in slow markets where the unemployment rate is high in both countries says Stephen Jacobi, executive director of the NZ-US Council .

New Zealand’s leadership in the Pacific will be used by America to anchor free trade agreements, says Mr Jacobi.

President Obama will look to push free trade agreements in the region because it is the type of initiative that will appeal to people who have to help him save the economy, he says.

“We now see a much energised president who is thinking about his future leaders and that’s going to mean he wants to get runs on the board and … sort out America’s economic problems.”

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the key, says Mr Jacobi, who heads the council which is funded by business and the Government to fostering relationship between the two countries.

“The TPP is a template for broader trade, it is a front door to free trade agreements with countries such as the 11 members of Asean and the 21 APEC members.”

Asean and APEC are the two major political and trade forums in the Asia-Pacific region.

The US elections put free trade talks on hold until December, when New Zealand hosts the 15th round of talks in Auckland.

Before the elections Romney and Obama both talked about more free trade.

With a re-election it is a matter of devising rules that are fair for all countries, he says

The US trade representatives are due to change but because the Obama administration is the same there should be no delays.

“We have worked with them over a long period of time.

“With Obama elected it means we basically know the plan. It is business as usual.”

However Mr Jacobi would prefer Obama made one major change.

“America has to stop printing money, because as the US dollar falls the kiwi dollar rises and that isn’t working.”

Images: The Listener, The Pigeon

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