National have accused Winston Peters of "trash-talking" and taking "pot shots" at Fonterra, after criticising its sale of ice cream brand Tip Top.
Fonterra owned the ice cream company since 2001, but confirmed the $380 million sale to European company Froneri.
Yesterday, Mr Peters, the NZ First leader said, "How are we ever going got make it, if unlike other countries who see the need to take their primary base products into serious added value for their own country's wealth and employment, with that message?"
Mark Patterson of NZ First also said the sale was disappointing.
"If we are to build a value-added future for our economy, keeping the ownership of brands like Tip Top in Kiwi hands is critical," Mr Patterson said. He said Tip Top's returns will now "disappear overseas".
Today National MP Paul Goldsmith said selling an asset "in order to put the money into other parts of its business, or to pay back debt" was the choice of a company.
"No Kiwi business should have to put up with wild, grandstanding attacks from the Acting Prime Minister, criticising their judgment and implying, impotently, that the deal shouldn’t be allowed to happen."
"The reality is, [Winston Peters] is doing nothing except having a spray at the expense of what he thinks is a soft target," Mr Goldsmith said.