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


Free trade lunacy fuels record deficit

Free trade lunacy fuels record deficit

The Green Party is challenging Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel to extend the tariff freeze, in the wake of the record July trade deficit announced today.

Statistics NZ has reported that the July trade deficit of $471 million is the largest July deficit in the last 17 years, excepting July 1997 when the frigate Te Kaha was imported. The July year deficit of $3,117 million is the worst in New Zealand's history.

"When will the Government learn that its free trade policies are failing New Zealanders?" Green MP Rod Donald said today. "Just ask the dozens of Levin clothing workers who are being laid off as a result of a flood of cheap imports, about the benefits of tariff reduction.

"Rather than chasing the mirage of free-trade agreements with China and the United States the Government should do what our major trading partners do, which is to manage their trade. Australia has higher tariffs than New Zealand and intends to maintain them for years.

"We should keep tariffs in place at existing levels for another five years. Any further cuts in tariffs will not only lead to more job losses but cause the trade deficit to blow out even further.

"It's no coincidence that New Zealand has had more trade deficits than surpluses since the third Labour Government started slashing tariffs on imported goods in the 1980s," said Rod Donald. The Minister of Commerce is currently reviewing the freeze on New Zealand's remaining tariffs.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election