US Ambassador Scott Brown implores Kiwis to acknowledge Trump's success

The US Ambassador to New Zealand has urged Kiwis to acknowledge Donald Trump's achievements in office. 

Ambassador Scott Brown defended Mr Trump against criticism of his immigration stance, telling The AM Show media outlets in New Zealand often don't provide a full picture. 

"We're not hearing about the tens of thousands of people who are actually following the law and doing it right and living the American dream," said Mr Brown. 

"I'll go into a group and say, 'Who here doesn't like the President?' And everyone raises their hand," said Mr Brown. He suggested those people need to "just look at the facts". 

Mr Brown pointed to Mr Trump's historic meeting in June with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as well as finalising a new NAFTA - the United States' trade deal with Canada and Mexico. He also praised his boss for "holding China accountable".  

"He's doing the things he said he was going to do, which is very rare for a politician these days," Mr Brown told The AM Show. 

But tensions between the US and China are far from steady, with the Chinese government recently urging the Trump administration to put an end to rumours of political interference and to stop slandering the Chinese

Pressure has also increased over the US slapping tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods. The US imposed a new 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods in September, to which China responded with tariffs on $60 billion of US goods. 

The Trump administration said the tariffs were necessary to protect intellectual property of US businesses, and to help reduce the US trade deficit with China. 

Mr Brown also defended Mr Trump from criticism he has faced over not coming down hard enough on Saudi Arabia, after the kingdom admitted Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi died inside its Istanbul consulate. 

Saudi Arabia provided no evidence to support its account of the circumstances that led to Mr Khashoggi's death, and New Zealand has strongly condemned the journalist's death. 

But Mr Trump is yet to speak out so strongly, which might have something to do with the US$110 billion arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia.  

Mr Brown said Saudi Arabia has "crossed the line", likening the situation to "somebody walking into our consulate in Auckland and not coming out". 

"It's bad form, they crossed a line, and there needs to be a full and immediate disclosure as to what happened and those who did it need to be held accountable," he said. 

Mr Trump said it would be "foolish" to cancel the arms deal between Saudi Arabia and the US. 


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