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Senator McCain backs US-NZ free trade deal

Radio New Zealand

Senator McCain backs US - NZ free trade deal

11 January 2006

A senior United States Senator, John McCain says New Zealand’s nuclear free policy should not affect the country’s chances of securing a free trade deal with the US

Senator McCain, who challenged George Bush in the 2000 Republican presidential primary campaign, flew into Christchurch from Antarctica last night,

He said New Zealand and the US have had their differences over the nuclear issue ; but the Cold War is over.

Senator McCain said the disagreement should not affect issues of mutual interest such as free trade, and he would like very much to see a deal between the two countries.

Senator McCain and the other 99 members of the US Senate have to approve any free trade deal before it can go into effect.

The New Zealand Government has previously identified a Free Trade Agreement with the US as a key goal, but no talks have been held.

Senator McCain and a Republican congressman will this afternoon meet Foreign Minister, Winston Peters and Defence Minister Phil Goff, in Christchurch.