25 Aug 2018

US ambassador says he's arguing NZ's case for tariff exemption

12:13 pm on 25 August 2018

The US Ambassador, Scott Brown, says he is prepared to ring Donald Trump himself to persuade him to grant New Zealand an exemption on tariffs.

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Photo: RNZ/ Rebekah Parsons-King

The US has imposed wide ranging tariffs on a number of imports and so far New Zealand is not one of a small number of countries granted an exemption.

Mr Brown said he was arguing New Zealand's case within the US exemption.

He told TV3's Newshub Nation he would be prepared to use his friendship with Mr Trump to help New Zealand.

"If it takes me making a phone call to the president at the appropriate time, I'll do it, but I don't want to use that chit now because the administrative process is moving forward." he said.

"I believe it should happen and I've made that very clear."

Scott Brown dismissed the current legal problems being experienced by some of Mr Trump's associates as "politics as usual".