Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Sutton's Dismissal of EU Doc Misleading - Choudry

Trade Minister's response to EU WTO Services Document Misleading: Call For NZ GATS positions to be made public

See also…

Also published at…

New Zealand Trade
Minister Jim SuttonGATT Watchdog says that Jim Sutton’s dismissal of a draft of European Union (EU) requests made of New Zealand and 28 other countries in the WTO services negotiations as a mere “wishlist”(Morning Report, Radio New Zealand, 22 April) is consistent with the cavalier approach with which his government is engaging in the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) negotiations.

See also… Leaked WTO Document Exposes Demands To 29 Countries.

“Mr Sutton’s response is misleading”, says Aziz Choudry, of GATT Watchdog.

“He wants to sidestep the furore which these documents have sparked in other countries. Yet New Zealand has already made one of the most wide-ranging sets of GATS commitments of any WTO member. Last June it tabled a document at the WTO Council for Trade in Services which stated:

GATT Watchdog's Aziz Choudry “First and foremost, New Zealand will actively encourage Members to explore ways in which existing commitments in all services sectors, in terms of both market access and national treatment, can be progressively liberalised”

“This implies that the government is prepared to voluntarily extend its own commitments to all services – including all health, education and water services. For Mr Sutton to say that the EU document is merely a wishlist and that there is nothing to worry about is an absolute joke. New Zealand governments have gone much further than what is requested of them WTO talks. Whether it is due to blind adherence to discredited free market ideology, or pressure from EU and US corporations and their governments, the end result of more services liberalisation is more privatisations and more bad news for ordinary people.”

GATT Watchdog is still waiting for a response from a 5 March Official Information Act request to Mr Sutton asking whether he plans to make public New Zealand’s requests and offers in the request-offer phase of GATS negotiations currently underway.

“GATS is an extension of the same free market policies which the Labour/Alliance government was elected to reject. Such services are not mere commodities to be bought and sold in a competitive market – many are essential to full participation in society”.

“In its free trade and investment agreement with Singapore, this government has made commitments, as in health-related and environmental services, which go further than its existing GATS commitments. Which services is the government planning to open up under the current GATS negotiations? If it wishes to ‘actively encourage’ other WTO members to progressively liberalise ‘existing commitments in all services sectors’, does it plan to offer all education, health and water services to the world market?”

“We challenge Mr Sutton to make public New Zealand’s GATS requests and offers. New Zealand’s response to the EU’s – and other countries’ - requests should also be made public” said Mr Choudry.

GATT Watchdog has launched a postcard campaign on GATS calling on the government to withdraw its services offer in all trade agreements. It urged that it should not participate in any further international negotiations on trade in services until a thorough and independent assessment of the impacts of GATS on basic services in New Zealand and internationally has been conducted.

Also published at…

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news