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Still A Future For TCF Industries In Horowhenua

Still A Future For TCF Industries In Horowhenua Says Alliance

There is still a future for the Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) industries in the Horowhenua according to Alliance Employment, Economic Development and Trade Spokesperson, Robert Reid.

“But such a future requires further government support for local TCF industry and the freezing of current tariff levels on imports for at least another five years."

Robert Reid will be speaking at an Alliance Party sponsored Public Meeting on the future of the TCF industries in Levin on Wednesday 25 June 2003.

The meeting has been called in response to the Government’s current review of the post-2005 tariff regime and the report in the Horowhenua Chronicle on 9 June 2003 that 800 local jobs could be lost if tariffs are eliminated on TCF imports.

“The TCF industry is vital to this region and all sectors of the Horowhenua community should work together to ensure it is not undermined by ideologically driven “free trade” policies,” said Robert Reid.

“There is no reason for the Government to lift the current freeze on TCF tariffs."

“The current freeze on tariffs was Alliance policy at the 1999 election. As part of government, the Alliance succeeded in persuading Labour to freeze the tariff rates at year 2000 levels until 2005. The previous National led Government had passed legislation to eliminate all tariffs by 2006,” he said.

“Official figures show that the tariff freeze has stopped import growth and stabilised the number of jobs in the industry, Robert Reid said. “Until the freeze around 20,000, or half the jobs in the TCF industry, had been lost since the tariff reduction strategy was introduced in the mid 1980s.”

Robert Reid praised the efforts of Enterprise Horowhenua, the Mayor and local unions in keeping the issues of tariffs and jobs alive. These individuals and organisations have consistently supported the future of the TCF industries in the Horowhenua and have ensured that the voices of workers, employers and communities affected by tariff policy have been heard by Government.

“These same forces, together with Alliance in Government, were also behind the creation of an Industry Development Organisation for TCF which has also given confidence back to the industry. Work is still progressing on this front with individuals from the Horowhenua playing a leading role."

Since the Alliance was elected to the “parliament of the streets” at the last election it will continue its campaign for full employment and sustainable economic development in various communities throughout New Zealand.

The Public Meeting will be held at 7.30 pm, Wednesday 25 June 2003, Brass Band Hall, the Domain, Weraroa Street, Levin.

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