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Free trade talks could worsen financial crisis

Free trade talks could worsen financial crisis

Bank workers’ union Finsec says that there is huge danger the P4 free trade negotiations could worsen the global financial crisis if further liberalisation of financial services forms part of the agreement.

Australia and Peru announced today they are set to join in the talks between P4 nations (New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei) and the United States.

“The deregulation of financial services is a core component of free trade talks. It would be crazy in the current environment to seek further financial service liberalisation when it is now commonly understood that such a hands off approach to financial regulation got us into the current mess,” said Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell.

“New Zealand should be pushing for consistent global regulatory reform of financial services, not engaging in a set of trade negotiations that seek to remove rules and open our financial markets up to unfettered competition,” said Campbell.

“New Zealand needs the ability to regulate our financial sector for the benefit of our country and citizens. We do not want to be in a situation where the government cannot intervene in our national interests because their hands are tied by outdated thinking contained in free trade agreements such as these,” said Campbell.

“Now is the time for fresh thinking about how we can make our financial systems work in the interests of real people and the real economy. Liberalising financial services through an expanded P4 negotiation is not the direction we should be heading in,” said Campbell.

ENDS

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