Parliament

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

 

No honour or profit in Thai trade deal


No honour or profit in Thai trade deal

A free trade deal with Thailand would fly in the face of the very principles that the Labour Party was founded on, Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald said today.

"I am amazed that the Government is even contemplating the possibility of entering into a 'closer economic partnership' with a country that has such an appalling record in child labour and the abuse of workers' rights," Rod Donald said.

He was commenting on an announcement today from Trade Minister Jim Sutton that New Zealand and Thailand would conduct a scoping study on a closer economic partnership

Mr Donald noted that the ILO 2001 yearbook reported 173,000 children between 13-14 years and almost two million children between 15-19 were working.

Meanwhile, a US State Department report last year found that the official Thai minimum wage was not adequate to provide a decent standard of living for a worker and family, and that migrants and children were working for wages that were significantly lower than the minimum wage.

"Wiping out tariff protection for New Zealand clothing manufacturers will simultaneously boost the number of Thai sweatshops and doom thousands of New Zealand workers," Rod Donald said.

"How can New Zealand manufacturers compete on such a distorted playing field? The simple answer is: they can't.

"We recorded a $200 million trade deficit with Thailand in the last calendar year. Why open our borders further to goods produced at the expense of workers' human rights and a nation's environment?

"This Government appears to have a severe case of free-trade lunacy. I suggest Jim Sutton takes a dose of reality and starts doing something that will really pay this country an economic and environmental dividend, like staying at home and sorting out our biosecurity problems."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election