Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Wider Debate Vital As Trade Treaty Nears

Media Release – for immediate release
Princes Street (University Branch) New Zealand Labour Party
Thursday 14 September, 2000.

Wider Debate Vital As Trade Treaty Nears
Labour’s commitment to trade liberalisation needs to be debated within the party before any free trade agreement with Singapore is signed, says the party’s Princes Street (Auckland University) branch.

“We are very concerned by the parliamentary wing’s desire to push this agreement through without adequate discussion within the Party. There is very little understanding of the implications of this agreement both within the party and the electorate as a whole,” says branch Vice Chair Todd Bridgman.

“A free trade agreement with Singapore could be the most significant piece of legislation passed by this Government. We do not accept the argument that because most trade with Singapore is already free, we need not be concerned about it. The potential impact of the agreement on the services sector is as yet poorly understood.

“Trade Minister Jim Sutton has clearly expressed a desire for the Singapore agreement to be the precursor to a series of free trade agreements with other Asian nations. We are yet to be convinced that these free trade agreements would be in the interests of all New Zealanders.

“Once an international agreement is signed, it will bind not only this Government but future Governments. The Labour Party needs to have that debate before it heads irreversibly down the path of trade liberalisation,” said Todd Bridgman.

Branch Chair Jordan Carter, focusing on the process that has been followed so far in this area, noted that “it is a welcome change to see the Government prepared to disclose details of the proposed Treaty before it is signed, and subjected to a vote in the House.

“This debate raises the larger issue of how future treaties should be entered into. Our view is that Cabinet’s power to sign treaties is a hangover from the past, when Councillors advised the Monarch on foreign policy. We urge the Government to consider requiring all treaties to be examined by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee, and then be approved by Parliament itself.

“International agreements come with conditions that are often not properly understood. By subjecting such agreements to Parliamentary scrutiny, the Government could ensure that a wider debate is held, and that no mistakes are made, now or in the future,” said Jordan Carter.

Todd Bridgman continued that “Labour was elected on a promise to change the free-market policies that have had such a detrimental effect on New Zealand society since 1984. This Government has done exceedingly well because it has delivered on these promises, as seen by its commitments to regional economic development, nation-building through the arts and the ‘Closing the Gaps’ initiative.

“We struggle to understand how an aggressive approach to free trade is consistent with these core policies. There certainly seems to be a contradiction between Labour’s commitment to nation-building and its stance on globalisation.

“We are constantly being told of the economic benefits that will flow from trade liberalisation. The question that needs to be asked is ‘how will those benefits be distributed, and are they big enough to be worth pursuing?’” concluded Todd Bridgman.

ENDS

Contact: Todd Bridgman, Vice Chair
09 373 7599 extn 7216 (work)
09 520 2128 (evenings)
t.bridgman@auckland.ac.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news