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


Reconnecting The WTO With The People

Members of Parliament around the world have a key role in reconnecting people with the WTO, says National's Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Lockwood Smith.

Dr Smith was one of eight Parliamentarians chosen to work on a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association study group, on how to improve people's understanding of the work of the WTO. This week Dr Smith addressed a CPA conference on this issue, held in St Lucia.

"We see and hear a lot from NGOs about the impact of free trade, but it is important that democratically elected parliamentarians also play a role in educating and informing the public.

"Rightly or wrongly, many people do feel that trade liberalisation threatens their jobs. They fear it means exploitation of labour and degradation of the environment.

"Considerable research has focussed on these fears. Among developing countries, those more open to trade have grown far more rapidly than those not, delivering a far higher standard of living to their people.

"It's been also been recognised in the past decade that protectionism can have severely negative impacts on the environment, especially subsidies that encourage the over use of natural resources. For example, farming subsidies in New Zealand saw land totally unsuited for sheep farming cleared for production. The ensuing environmental damage is only now slowly being alleviated, but it took the elimination of those subsidies for it to happen. "Trade liberalisation is not an end in itself. Behind the technical WTO agreements lie the important human endeavours of improving employment opportunities and productivity, improving food supply and security, ensuring better access to health, education and information services.

"In essence, trade liberalisation is about improving the well being of all our people. This is the messaage we must communicate," said Dr Smith.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news