Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Just say No to Singapore

The Green Party is urging the Government to pull out of a proposed free trade agreement with Singapore and has presented a paper to cabinet to back up their case.

"We want to see some real life evidence that free trade agreements lead to more jobs, lower prices, better quality products, a healthier environment and social security before the government proceeds with the Singapore Free Trade Agreement," said Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"The well-kept dirty secret of free trade is that it doesn't necessarily lead to any of these things and can make the majority of people worse off, not better off, despite wishful thinking based on econometric models claiming otherwise."

To reinforce their concerns, a 20 page briefing paper was presented to the Prime Minister earlier this month, and she was asked to circulate it to all cabinet ministers. Prepared by Green trade researcher Dr Christine Dann, the paper pointed out that:

- 98% of merchandise trade between New Zealand and Singapore is already free of tariffs - only some NZ beers, porter and samsoo (alcoholic beverages) attract tariffs in Singapore - in ten years of 98% 'free' trade with Singapore, New Zealand has accumulated a $698.2 million trade deficit - such an agreement could jeopardise regional development and Maori development initiatives by prohibiting local procurement (buy local policies) - the agreement also has the potential to distort the development of education services in New Zealand - Singapore will not give up the considerable advantages conferred by its government-linked companies and government investment schemes.

"The Singapore agreement is clearly the Trojan Horse for a wider ASEAN free trade zone, which would have devastating consequences for local manufacturers," said Mr Donald.

"There is no point in setting up a jobs machine if New Zealand producers are expected to compete with cheap Asian imports without protection or support."

The Greens have also criticised the Government for appointing former National Party Finance Minister Bill Birch as their trade negotiator.

"If this government is serious about getting New Zealand working again, it should sack Birch and abandon the trade policies of the previous government," he said.

* The full paper is available from Rod Donald's office, (04) 470 6663

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More

Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election