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

 

Postcard Campaign For Supachai Panitchpakdi Visit

GATT Watchdog
PO Box 1905
Christchurch

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Postcard campaign to mark NZ Visit of Mike Moore's successor at WTO

24 September 2001

To mark the visit of World Trade Organisation Director-General-in-waiting, Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, GATT Watchdog. has launched a postcard campaign against the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). GATT Watchdog has also produced factsheets on GATS and local government, and GATS and healthcare for use in the local body and district health board elections.

"The Government must not participate in any further international negotiations on trade in services until a thorough, independent assessment of the impacts of GATS on basic services in New Zealand and internationally has been conducted. It should withdraw its services offer in all trade agreements - including the bilateral deal with Hong Kong," said a GATT Watchdog spokesman, Aziz Choudry.

"Under GATS, governments agree to open the economy to foreign suppliers of certain services. GATS threatens to restrict a government's ability to ensure access to affordable, adequate basic services for all by removing any restrictions and internal government regulations in the area of service delivery considered to be "barriers to trade." It also has serious implications for the powers of local authorities"

"Services are big business. They make up between half and three quarters of all economic activity. To the world's transnational corporations they are a lucrative market which they want to control. As the European Commission says: "GATS is not just something which exists between governments. It is first and foremost an instrument for the benefit of business.""

"Under GATS and in sectors in which it has made commitments, a government cannot treat service suppliers from one WTO country better than those from another. It can't give better treatment to its locals that in gives to foreign suppliers in the services for which it has made GATS commitments. It cannot limit the access of foreign suppliers to its market in those services by imposing limits on the total number of facilities or operations, requirements for local content or local hiring."

"GATS is an extension of the same free market policies which the Labour/Alliance government was elected to reject. It is a backdoor to more privatisation. These services are not mere commodities to be bought and sold in a competitive market - many are essential to full participation in society," he said.

A June 26 2001 New Zealand government document submitted to the WTO Council for Trade in Services states: "First and foremost, New Zealand will actively encourage Members to explore ways in which existing commitments in all services sectors, in terms of both market access and national treatment, can be progressively liberalised"

"New Zealand already has probably the most wide-ranging GATS commitments of any WTO member. Now the government is prepared to offer all services - including all education, health and water services - to the world market. This is outrageous".

"In Britain, over 260 MPs called for an independent assessment of the likely impact of GATS on key services. In Canada, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities is seeking a carve-out from coverage by the GATS. With local elections coming up soon, and a general election next year, it's high time New Zealand politicians - national and local - faced up to this issue, before the policy options available to future governments which want to reverse market policies become even more limited" said Mr Choudry.

For further comment contact Aziz Choudry notoapec@clear.net.nz


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron


Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...
More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga


The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...
More>>



 
 



Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>


Crown: Duke Of York’s NZ Military Patronage Appointment Ends
Buckingham Palace has recently announced that, with the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen... More>>

Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>


Financial Advice NZ: Law Changes Locking Out Home Seekers, Urgent Meeting Sought With Government

Recent changes in consumer finance law on top of Government policy changes are locking many home seekers out of finance options they would have qualified for just six weeks ago, says Financial Advice New Zealand... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels