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

 


Candles And Cake For 5th Trade Deficit

24 June 1999

Green MP presents Trade Minister with cake, candles to mark 5th trade deficit

Green MP Rod Donald delivered an imported cake topped with five imported candles to Trade Minister Lockwood Smith's office today to mark New Zealand's fifth consecutive annual trade deficit.

The May year trade figure is due out tomorrow with predictions the deficit will be at least $1.3 billion and as high as $1.5 billion. This will be the first time New Zealand has experienced five consecutive trade deficits this century.

"The root cause of our disastrous trade deficits is the government's fixation with free trade and Lockwood Smith, as the Minister for Overseas Trade, should accept responsibility for this disastrous situation," said Rod Donald.

The deficits for the previous four years were $478 million in 1998; $432 million in 1997; $643 million in 1996 and $422 million in 1995. The cumulative five year deficit will now total over $3 billion

By way of comparison, in the previous five years (1990-94) New Zealand achieved a cumulative trade surplus of $5.26 billion, with four surpluses out of five.

"We are now importing products we should be making ourselves, thanks to the Government opening up our borders to unfair competition, causing jobs to disappear as well as increasing the trade deficit," said Rod Donald.

"You couldn't operate your home or business like this without going broke. A common-sense government would stop running our country into the ground. Part of the solution to becoming a net exporter again must be the introduction of tariffs on imports," he said.

"For example a 10 per cent tariff on the cake I'm presenting to the Minister would increase its price from $5.50 to no more than $6.00. Quite frankly the people who can afford to pay $5.50 for 112 grammes of cake from an upmarket department store wouldn't notice an extra 50 cents.

"As to the candles, they are made in China and retail at the supermarket for $1.25. A 10 percent tariff would put up their price to no more than $1.37, still significantly cheaper than New Zealand made candles which cost $2.05.

"Tariffs help to level the playing field a little between New Zealand manufacturers who have to compete against importers of goods made with sweat shop pay and conditions.

"Instead of slagging opponents of free trade I want the Minister to explain how he intends to create jobs and shift overseas trade from the red to the black other than by chanting the 'export-led recovery' mantra which has clearly failed to deliver in the face of burgeoning imports," Rod Donald said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news