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


Reality check needed on a US-NZ free-trade deal

Reality check needed on a US-NZ free-trade deal

"Those who claim that New Zealand will open the doors to US agricultural markets need a reality check," says Dr Bill Rosenberg, on behalf of the Action, Research and Education Network of Aotearoa (ARENA).

"The United States Congress has recently passed a ten year, $170 billion package of support for its farmers. Most of that will go to politically powerful US agribusinesses. No one should be under any illusion that the US government will not put that constituency first in negotiating any so-called ‘free trade’ deal.

"We also need to ask why the US would even be interested in talking to New Zealand," Dr Rosenberg suggests. "The unconscionable trade-off of ‘guns for butter’ would only be a small part of their game plan. The US is not going to talk to New Zealand unless there are real gains for their transnational companies, especially in investment and services.

"Each year the US Trade representative publishes a hit-list of policies and laws it wants New Zealand to change. These include Overseas Investment Commission vetting of foreign investment, the Pharmac drug purchasing policy, the GM moratorium, Fonterra, other export marketing boards, and much more.

"It’s already clear from the opening gambits in negotiations with Australia that they will demand guaranteed rights for US investors. Similar provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have forced massive compensation payments to investors where government health or environment regulations have reduced the profitability of those investments," Dr Rosenberg warned.

"Successive New Zealand governments have already left the country’s economy, infrastructure and services deeply exposed through ill-considered free trade deals. This has to stop now. If New Zealand has any hope of developing into a strong, independent nation we need to look at strengthening our own economic capacity and reserving the right to make our own laws and policies to meet our local priorities."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Supermarket Scam, And On Tunisia’s Scrapping Of Democracy

Are we paying too much for our groceries? Hmm. Is the Pope a Catholic? Given that the two Australian supermarket chains that dominate our grocery industry routinely rack up profits in the order of $22 billion annually, that’s a no-brainer. Yet as with New Zealand’s other socio-economic problems created by our 1980s reforms, the practical solutions seem pretty thin on the ground... More>>


Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>


Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>




InfoPages News Channels