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


Anderton apologist for free trade

18 October 2001
Anderton apologist for free trade

The Green Party has accused Acting Customs Minister Jim Anderton of becoming an apologist for free trade following his defence of Customs' breaches under the Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

"The Alliance originally opposed the Singapore Free Trade Agreement and now Anderton is trying to downplay the fact that Singaporean companies are deliberately trying to flout the rules," Green Party MP Rod Donald said.

"We said it would happen, the Government claimed it wouldn't, and now we have proof free traders are cheating," he said.

The results of Customs Services' first six monthly compliance check since the free trade agreement took effect are as follows: * 146 import entries claimed tariff preference under the Singapore Free Trade Agreement. This number represents 1% of all import entries from Singapore. * 32 or 22% of these entries were tested by Customs. * 17 entries qualified for preferential entry. Foregone duty amounted to $236,152. * 15 entries or 47% of those tested could not provide evidence that they met the rules of origin (ROO) requirements. Additional duty of $34,250 was charged. * 11 out of 12 TCF (textile, clothing and footwear) entries were checked. * 10 of these, representing 99.46% of TCF imports by value, failed the ROO test * 114 entries claiming preference were not tested by Customs.

"Jim Anderton is trying to deny the extent of the problem by claiming that less than half of 1% of import entries from Singapore breached ROO requirements," Mr Donald said.

"He should instead be very concerned that almost half the entries checked by Customs were either declined or withdrawn and virtually 100% of the footwear and clothing was imported illegally.

"Overall, up to 129 or 88% of import entries claiming tariff preference either flouted or may have flouted the rules of origin requirements.

"If the Customs compliance report on Singapore doesn't send a message to the Government about the disaster that a free trade agreement with Hong Kong would have then I don't know what will.

"New Zealand currently imports only $15m of clothing from Hong Kong but $462m worth from China. If Hong Kong gets a 19% tariff preference over China you can guarantee what Hong Kong companies manufacturing in China will do and there is next to nothing New Zealand can do to stop it.

"Mr Anderton should remember what he used to stand for instead of dismissing the disastrous consequences of free trade agreements," he said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels