Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Give us our money back, Mr Lee


21 November, 2003

Give us our money back, Mr Lee

Green Co-leader Rod Donald is asking Singapore's Deputy PM Lee Hsien Loong to bring a cheque for $634 million with him when he arrives here on Sunday to wave the free-trade flag at the "Seriously Asia" forum at Parliament next week.

That is the size of New Zealand's trade deficit with Singapore since the Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) between the two countries took effect on January 1st, 2001.

"Both Singapore and New Zealand governments promised mutual benefits when this free trade deal was signed," said Rod Donald. "Instead, it's been a one-way river of money flowing from New Zealand to Singapore.

"If Governments had to operate under our Fair Trading Act, then Dr Cullen would be prosecuted for misleading advertising and Singapore would be forced to pay back all the millions that this 'deal' has sucked out of our country.

"New Zealand had a trade deficit with Singapore of $209 million for the two years and nine months before we threw open our borders. In the two years and nine months since, our deficit has leaped to $634 million. That's a 203 per cent blow-out."

Dr Cullen and Trade Minister Jim Sutton keep making the excuse that Singapore is struggling economically at the moment, said Mr Donald. Clearly that doesn't apply to its export sector, which has increased its trade to New Zealand by 24 per cent under the CEP. Meanwhile, New Zealand exports to Singapore have dropped by nine per cent.

"There's not even a glimmer of hope on the horizon," Mr Donald said. "Our trade deficit with Singapore for the nine months to September is already $206 million, and looks certain to eclipse the deficits for the last two years of $208 million and $220 million. "All of which begs the questions: what's 'fair' about one-way trading, and - when are you going to give us our money back, Mr Lee?"

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Fair Pay Agreements Should Be Embraced

Are Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) truly the work of the devil? Given the vehement response to them last week by (a) employer groups and (b) by their parliamentary friends on the extreme right, you could be forgiven for thinking these FPA things will mean curtains for commerce as we’ve known it for the past 30 years. Believe me, they won’t. Less excitable types will regard FPAs as heralding only a mild shift towards a more centralised form of bargaining over wages and conditions, much akin to what other successful economies (eg Germany) have recognised for decades... More>>

 

Government: Further Action Against Gang Crime

The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their ... More>>

ALSO:

Maori Party: Whakatōhea High Court Decision

“We applaud the Whakatōhea High Court case that has now set a precedent for Māori rights and interest in their foreshore and seabed. It’s an outstanding decision because the Court recognises all reclaimed lands with significant and boating traffic” ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Speech To Lower North Island Regional Conference

Good morning, delegates. It’s an absolute privilege to be speaking to you all here today as your leader. I’d like to acknowledge National Party President Peter Goodfellow, my fellow board members, my lower North Island colleagues and all of ... More>>

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels