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CTU Opposes Proposal to Drop Tariffs

CTU Opposes Proposal to Drop Tariffs

The CTU opposes the Government’s decision to proceed with a proposal for the WTO to negotiate non-agricultural products on a zero tariff/reciprocal basis,” said Council of Trade Unions secretary Paul Goulter today.

“We can see little reason for New Zealand to adopt this position, which smacks of the earlier ‘New Zealand must lead the world’ view of the past,” said Paul Goulter.

“This view risks the loss of popular support for the Government’s trade policy.”

The CTU was consulted on the proposal and voiced concern that it could undermine the integrity of the current review of tariffs and the textile, clothing, footwear and carpets industry strategy.

“As has unfortunately been the case too often in the past, there is no cost/benefit analysis attached to this proposal,” said Paul Goulter.

“To be convinced we need concrete evidence and there is none in this case. This makes public discussion and debate very difficult,” he said.

“What, for example, will be the actual impact on jobs in the textiles, clothing, footwear and carpet industries."

Paul Goulter said the proposal also threw considerable doubt on the integrity of the post 2005 Tariff Review.

The CTU position in the post-2005 tariff review was that the tariff freeze needs to be extended until 2008 with a review commencing in 2005 to look at what if anything should happen post-2008.

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