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


Govt. must not bow to pressure over GATS

Govt. must not bow to pressure over GATS

The Government must advance New Zealand's interests in the current WTO negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services, and not kowtow to its union friends, says National's Trade spokesperson, Lockwood Smith.

"It's clear the unions want to lock New Zealand out of increasing its participation in the most rapidly expanding sector of global trade, trade in services.

"The CTU and the Greens should look at what's happened to the Arab world in the last 20 years, as it's been largely divorced from the trade liberalisation of, first the GATT, and more recently the WTO.

"In 1980 the Muslim countries of the Middle East controlled 13% of world exports and received almost 5% of direct investment. Today the figures are barely 3% of world exports and 1.5% of investment. This has been matched by a relative decline in the standard of living of the average person.

"Since the GATS agreement was concluded in 1994, New Zealand's export income from the export of services has risen 86%, a far greater increase than the 62% increase in merchandise exports over the same time period. Income from the export of education services has increased even more rapidly - 152% just since 1997."

Dr Smith says the service industries represent one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the global economy. Despite that, access to international service markets remains quite restricted in many areas.

"If the Government bows to pressure from its union friends, the Green Party and the Alliance, New Zealand will miss a huge opportunity to advance our national interests and raise the standard of living of all New Zealanders," says Dr Smith.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government…

In fact, the polls suggest that the public seems to quite like the new government, its Prime Minister, and its proposed plan of action. Somehow, even though a Labour/Greens/NZ First government is in power, the sun is still rising and setting, on time. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Saying ‘Work For The Dole,’ Nicely

As New Zealand First learned the hard way from its two previous periods in government, small parties in MMP coalitions get blamed for the unpopular stuff done by their senior partner in power, but no one remembers the good stuff the junior player brought to the table... More>>


Seismic Blasting: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against Amazon Warrior

A legal challenge against the world’s largest seismic oil exploration ship was launched at a public rally on Parliament Lawn. More>>


Tertiary: 80,000 People Eligible For Fees Free

The Government has today made good on its 100-day promise of delivering the first year of fees-free post school training and education and industry training from 1 January next year, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. More>>


PM's Presser: Rebuilding Cathedrals, Felling Trees

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the press conference today with Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods to announce urgent legislation this week for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Cathedral. More>>





Featured InfoPages