Jacinda’s America Visit: NZ won hearts & minds – we lost wallets

There is little doubt that the Prime Minister’s visit to America has been an enormous diplomatic victory in capturing hearts and minds.

She has generated a level of goodwill unmatched by the last 5 Prime Ministers combined.

From Harvard, to the Late Show to the White House, she has dazzled and inspired.

Her visit coinciding with the trauma of the Texas atrocity has given her leadership a volume to NZs collective mana.

The frustration then as China manoeuvres into a geopolitically offensive stance in the South Pacific that America still refuses point blank to allow us to economically de-couple from China.

The steel tariffs Trump put on us could be removed immediately.

More direct access for Dairy and Meat and primary product.

A total removal on tariffs.

There is the promise of a renewal of annual trade talks, but unless they deliver immediate decisions quickly, NZs looming economic depression will be steeper than it should, which puts us in an immediate position of vulnerability should China suddenly stop buying our milk powder.

NZ needs to urgently decouple economically from China, the only market that can match that replacement will be America, the only way to change that requires hearts and minds.

The Prime Minister’s visit has won that first phase.

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