Parliament

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

 

Trade agreements 'an outrage against democracy'

Free trade agreements 'an outrage against democracy'

Jim Anderton MP Sun Sep 12 1999

Jim Anderton
MPThe free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile announced during APEC are an outrage against democracy, Alliance leader Jim Anderton says.

'With no public debate or parliamentary scrutiny and less than three months before a general election the Government is signing away New Zealand's rights to control its own economic destiny.

'The National-Act Government is using APEC to sneak through sweeping economic commitments that put our economy at considerable risk. New Zealanders should at least have the opportunity to consider the consequences of signing free trade agreements with countries that probably don't have a minimum wage and which virtually outlaw democratic trade unions.

'The agreements severely constrain the options of future governments yet they have never been anywhere near parliament of a select committee.

'Just because Singapore and Chile have only a passing acquaintance with democracy, Mrs Shipley seems to think she can bypass New Zealand democracy when she's selling out our country to them.

'It is bizarre for a country like New Zealand with a $7 billion balance of payments deficit to sign a free trade agreement with a country like Singapore which normally has a balance of payments surplus.

'Lockwood Smith has announced that the agreement with Singapore is 'not being done for the great trade benefits in the short term for New Zealand.' Other trading partners, particularly in Asia, are reported to be very concerned about the agreement. So Mrs Shipley is putting our overall trade interests at risk for no obvious gain for New Zealand and simply in the name of ideology.'

The agreement with Singapore eliminates all tariffs by the end of next year.

'Apparently the agreement has already been signed and yet it's not possible for a Member of Parliament to even get a copy of it. It is an abuse of democracy for a future government to be bound by an agreement signed less than three months before the election, when there hasn't been any public debate nor any opportunity for parliamentary scrutiny,' Jim Anderton said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Declaring Premature Victory


Sure enough, Saturday’s Vaxathon was a barrel of fun and a throwback not merely to the Telethons of the past. It also revived memories of those distant days of early 2020, when we were all carefully wiping down our groceries, not touching our faces, washing our hands for 20 seconds and responding to level four lockdowns by putting teddy bears in the window for the benefit of the little kids walking by in their family bubbles. Those were the days, when the Team of Five Million felt like a real, organic thing... More>>

RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces Cabinet decision on Covid-19 alert levels


Northland will move to level 2 at 11.59pm on 19 October. Waikato will be held at level 3, to be reviewed on Friday. Auckland will remain in level 3 with current restrictions for another two weeks... More>>

ALSO:




 
 

Economy: Inflation highest in over a decade
The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter... More>>

ALSO:


Government: New Zealand Increases Climate Aid Contribution

The Government is making a four-fold increase in the support it provides to countries most vulnerable to the climate emergency, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>

Government: Opportunity To Shape NZ’s First Emissions Reduction Plan
The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>

ALSO:


CPay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels