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

 

Doha Meeting Crushes NZ Govt’s Free Trade Hopes

14 November 2001

The end of the 4th World Trade Organization Ministerial meeting in Doha, Qatar today should signal the end of an era in New Zealand’s trade policy, according to Professor Jane Kelsey, an Arena analyst.

“For far too long, successive New Zealand Governments have seen the free trade agenda championed by the WTO as the only way to prosperity. The declaration by the EU at Doha that it will never, ever agree to drop subsidies to European farmers should be enough by itself to start a thoroughgoing policy revamp in Jim Sutton’s ministry.”

'It should be obvious to anyone but the diehard free trade evangelists that the WTO was never going to deliver for NZ farmers, because that’s not who it's set up to serve," said Professor Kelsey. "The divisions within the WTO stem from its total inability to take account of the concerns of anyone but the major powers who dominate the organisation'.”

'It's not just the EU protecting the economic interests of its corporate farmers and the political interests of its member governments from small farmers who feel under threat.'

'New Zealand farmers have seen time and again how the US plays with the WTO rules like a lion toying with a mouse. It decides when it will comply, on what terms. Most of the time it simply makes sure the rules are designed to protect its interests. How can Sutton seriously claim the US as its ally when the Congress has just voted a massive 64% increase in farm subsidies over the next 10 years?'

'The double act of Sutton and WTO Director-General Mike Moore remain obsessed with the holy grail of free trade in agriculture. No one gets to hear about the other deals being pushed at the WTO.

It's time they started spelling out for New Zealanders the threat to public services through the General Agreement on Trade in Services; the denial of access to life saving drugs under the TRIPS agreement on intellectual property; the attempt to revive the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) through talks on investment; and so on.'

Professor Kelsey called on the NZ Government to implement a wide-ranging review of its trade policy. "Such a review must take into account voices from outside the free-trade cheer brigade,” she said. “For too long, New Zealand has been led down the garden path of market liberalization, privatization and the rest of the globalization agenda. At Doha, that path turned into a brick wall."

'It's time the Government opened up the debate about the future economic direction of this country that New Zealanders have been denied for too long. We need a new approach and we need it now.”

CONTACT: Jane Kelsey: (09) 579 1030, 021 765 055
Leigh Cookson (03) 339 6341; 025 662 7174

Jane Kelsey is the author of a series of books on the globalization process, including the best-selling “The NZ Experiment”. She is also Auckland University’s Professor of Law.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon


Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>




 
 



Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>


Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>


Government: Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash... More>>


National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>


Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels