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

 


Pacific trade needs structural change, not NZ as WTO head

::For Immediate Release::
13/2/2013
Pacific trade needs structural change, not NZ as WTO head

As New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser, travels through the Pacific seeking support for his bid to become Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Pacific Islands are urged to look to their own experiences and needs before offering any endorsement for any of the potential WTO contenders.

The Pacific Network on Globalisation's Campaigner, Adam Wolfenden, commented that “New Zealand has always maintained a very self-interested position at the WTO when it comes to trade and the Pacific Islands, thinking that they would be a friend of the Islands at the multilateral body would go against the history of their experiences”.

The actions of New Zealand towards the Pacific and their needs speaks for itself:
• New Zealand has been one of the most aggressive demandeurs in the Pacific Islands accessions to the WTO, often pushing for the greatest concessions against the interests of the Islands;
• New Zealand and Australia both threatened to cut funding for agriculture projects as part of Vanuatu's accession unless they would yield to their demands;
• When Fiji imposed a ban on Mutton Flaps citing the links to obesity New Zealand threatened to lodge a dispute against Fiji at the WTO;
• When Climate Change Minister, Tim Groser pulled New Zealand out of the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol, leaving New Zealand without any legally binding commitment to reducing greenhouse emissions.

University of Auckland based Professor Jane Kelsey added that "the last thing the WTO needs is an unreconstructed 'true believer' in the old failed model of trade and investment liberalisation as its new head. The WTO is still recovering from the period of the failed Seattle ministerial to 2003 when another New Zealander, Mike Moore, was at its head. Tim Groser is a much more savvy and driven version of Moore, who will talk about sensitivity to development and requiring the major powers to play by the rules - and resist any meaningful reform of the WTO that might even nudge it in the direction of a just global trading regime".

PANG and other members of civil society around the world have long asserted that the global trade framework must provide countries sufficient policy space to pursue a positive agenda for development and job-creation, and that trade rules must facilitate, rather than hinder, global efforts to ensure true food security, sustainable economic development, global access to health and medicines, and global financial stability. In order to achieve these goals, many current WTO policies must be fixed and many aspects of the 2001-launched Doha Round agenda must be changed; in addition, the basic principles and goals underlying the WTO must be overhauled.

“The contest for the Director-General of the WTO still fails to answer the key questions of legitimacy that face the WTO and the free trade ideology that it pursues, something that sits at sharp odds with the unique and dynamic realities faced by Pacific Island Countries” concluded Mr Wolfenden.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news