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Doha a dead duck

Doha a dead duck

The Green Party says that Helen Clark and Jim Sutton are dreaming if they think that this week's APEC meeting will reinvigorate the WTO's Doha round.

"When will the New Zealand Government learn the lesson that the tide is going out on trade liberalisation?" said Green MP Rod Donald

"Developing countries, spearheaded by the G22, have put their collective feet down and told the rich world that there will be no more concessions from the poor until wealthy countries stop distorting trade rules in their own favour.

"Instead of being a mouth piece for the Bush administration Helen Clark could demonstrate genuine leadership by encouraging WTO members at the APEC meeting to ensure that the WTO adopts fair transparent rules and decision making processes that foster genuine participation.

"Helen Clark should also be calling on rich countries to follow New Zealand's example of removing domestic and export subsidies so that produce and products aren't dumped in developing countries' markets at less than the true cost of production and distribution.

"At the same time she should call on the leaders of developing countries to lift their labour conditions, wage levels and environmental standards instead of using these as ways to compete unfairly in the international market place.

"Until there is a real level playing field where New Zealand employers and their staff aren't faced with competitors who exploit their workers and the environment we need to keep tariffs in place to protect our businesses and jobs from unfair trade.

"The last thing we need is for the Government to liberalise our economy even more. New Zealand has had a trade deficit with the rest of APEC for seven out of the last ten years resulting in a cumulative deficit of $7.47 billion.

"When will they open their eyes to the fact that New Zealand is the only country playing the APEC strip poker game in our underwear," he said.

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