CTU MEDIA RELEASE 22 April 2008
CTU pushed for deferral of tariff review
The Council of Trade Unions today welcomed the announcement that import tariffs will be held at their 1 July 2009 levels until 30 June 2011.
Peter Conway, CTU Economist, said that the CTU and a number of unions had raised with the Government concerns about any further unilateral reductions in tariffs.
"One of the problems New Zealand faces is that severe reductions in tariffs on a unilateral basis have not only damaged industry but reduced any negotiation leverage in subsequent trade negotiations".
"The CTU campaigned against the removal of tariffs in the post-2005 review."
"The announcement of a deferral of any consideration of a review to mid-2009 is an effective freeze and is good news."
"Tariffs alone will not support a strong manufacturing sector in New Zealand," Peter Conway said. "What is needed now is continued investment in skills and technology to underpin value-added manufacturing, and a monetary policy framework that does not result in excessively high interest rates and speculation on the dollar driving up exchange rates".