Parliament

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

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election