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

 

FTA improvement on current Govt textile policy


NDU MEDIA STATEMENT

For immediate release Monday 7 April 2008

Textile Union says NZ - China “Free” Trade Agreement improvement on current Government policy for sector

The gradually reducing tariff reduction regime for textiles, clothing and footwear in the NZ – China FTA is a welcome departure from the extremist free trade policies of the past,” said Robert Reid, President of the National Distribution Union.

The NDU organises workers in the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) sector in New Zealand, the major sector that still has tariffs and so faces the greatest challenge from free trade with China. The trade agreement sees tariffs on TCF imports from China reducing in equal steps to zero by the middle of next decade.

“The NDU does not promote free trade and we have always argued that there is a place for the protection of domestic manufacturing and service industries both here and in China. However we have taken the opportunity offered to engage through the FTA negotiation process and are pleased that the outcome will at least provide more certainty to the local TCF industry than New Zealand’s own unilateral tariff reduction programme has over the years,” said Robert Reid.

“The 1996 -99 National Government tried to eliminate all TCF tariffs by 2006. This was stopped by the Alliance Party securing a tariff freeze from 2000 – 2005 as part of its Coalition Agreement with Labour in 1999. Without the Alliance, Labour re-introduced a post 2005 tariff reduction regime that has TCF tariffs reducing to 10% by 2009. However Labour remained committed to APEC Bogor goals that require all tariffs to be removed in developed countries by 2010.

“The timetable for tariff reductions in the NZ - China Trade Agreement blows New Zealand’s APEC commitments out of the water. This is good news for the TCF sector.

“The NZ China Trade Agreement may be called a Free Trade Agreement but it is in essence a “Managed” Trade Agreement” said Robert Reid.

“The National Distribution Union has treated these negotiations very seriously. We made early submissions to the Government for a gradual, rather than an immediate elimination of tariffs as did the NZ Council of Trade Unions and Textiles NZ.

“We were part of two delegations to China during the negotiation period that met with Chinese Trade Unions, Communist Party and Government officials. We strongly put the case to them that China should not demand the immediate elimination of tariffs as part of their negotiations with New Zealand. We received a good hearing,” Robert Reid said.

“However if the TCF industry is to survive we need two further commitments from our Government. First is that any future unilateral tariff reduction programme by New Zealand will not phase our tariffs faster than the China Trade Agreement. Second, the Government must provide a major funding programme to the local TCF industry to help it adjust, transform and innovate to meet the reducing tariff regime in this trade agreement. Such funding has been scaled down since the commitments made at the time the tariff reduction programme was re-started,” said Robert Reid.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson+ Clark, And Russia’s FIFA World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark, which has been employed – time and again - by state agencies over the past decade, to spy on (and provide security against) ordinary New Zealanders engaged in lawful forms of protest. More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say! Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:

Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>

ALSO:

Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages