McClay’s head in sand diplomacy leads to kiwifruit crush

Todd McClay has some serious explaining to do following a move by China to put the squeeze on imports of New Zealand kiwifruit, Labour’s Trade spokesperson David Clark says.

"Unfortunately, we don't know whether Mr McClay has even asked Chinese authorities whether tighter controls imposed on kiwifruit into China are in any way related to a recent threat to impose tighter controls on kiwifruit into China. Does the Minister think the controls are just a highly unlikely co-incidence?

"This whole business has been a debacle from the get go. Mr McClay needs to come clean with New Zealanders about what assurances he has sought and received from his Chinese counterparts.  

"Head in the sand diplomacy is what got Mr McClay and his Government into trouble over allegations of steel dumping. That approach was ineffective. He should try another.

“China is our largest trading partner. The relationship is too important to stuff up just because a Minister isn’t on top of his portfolio.

“Our exporters need to know the Government is doing its job and doing it well.

“Todd McClay’s performance so far - amid rumours that China is also looking to impose reprisal tariffs on New Zealand dairy, wool and meat - suggests they can have little confidence that he or the Government has this under control,” David Clark says