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


Youth Against the Thailand/NZ Free Trade Agreement

Youth Against the Thailand/NZ Free Trade Agreement

A Response to the TLN on the Thai Free Trade Agreement

A response to the Trade Liberalisation Network’s comments on the proposed Thai/NZ Free Trade Agreement.

Both the people of New Zealand and Thailand have many reasons to be concerned about the proposed Thai-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

Thai dairy farmers have strongly opposed the Australia/Thailand free trade agreement because they fear being out-competed by Australian dairy farmers. Now that the Australia/Thailand free trade agreement has been signed the farmers are now moving their opposition to the New Zealand/Thailand free trade agreement. The NZ/Thai free trade agreement could mean Thai dairy farmers are forced off the land because of imports from New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra.

This will mean Thai farmers will be forced to move into the city to find work. This will lower wages and result in worse working conditions. New Zealand manufacturers can then take advantage of these terrible working conditions and outsource their work from New Zealand to Thailand.

Suse Reynolds, of the Trade Liberalisation Network, implies that the Thai/NZ free trade agreement will help the sweatshop and child labourers of Thailand. Nothing could be further from the truth. The low cost of Thai labour will encourage New Zealand manufacturers to outsource their production to the sweatshops of Thailand to decrease their costs of production. The Thai government will want to encourage foreign investment so they are unlikely to improve working conditions. The free trade agreement will just encourage sweatshop labour not reduce it as Reynolds claims.

Finally Reynolds claims that the poorest New Zealanders have benefited the most from the reductions in tariffs which started in the 1980’s. Research by the Child Poverty Action Group shows that the median real disposable income of the poorest 10% of New Zealanders fell 20% between 1982 and 1998. Meanwhile the incomes of the richest 10% increased by 36%. The rich owners of big retailers have benefited from being able to cheaply import foreign made goods while the poor have suffered job losses and benefit cuts.

The Thai/NZ free trade agreement will benefit a small elite and hurt the poor in both New Zealand and Thailand.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More


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


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election