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Alliance says Govt free trade position dishonest

Alliance Party says Government position on free trade dishonest

The Alliance Party says that Trade Minister Phil Goff's comments on free trade deals highlight a Labour Government that will ignore any social and environmental concerns in its haste to sign the dotted line at any cost.

Alliance Party co-leader Victor Billot says the Government position on free trade is completely dishonest.

"On one hand they carry on about sustainability and nation building, then the next day they are signing up to deals that will continue to integrate us into the environmental and social disasters of globalization, which are completely unsustainable."

"This is the caring liberal face of the Labour Party – they have no problem with sweatshops, child labour, human rights abuses, pollution, dictators, in fact they'll agree with anything as long as they get a free trade deal."

Mr Billot says the Alliance is opposed to free trade.

"The first reason is it is completely undemocratic and is aimed at dismantling any say the public have over the future of their world, and the second reason is that unregulated free trade creates massive environmental and social problems."

"We support a democratic, planned and rational economic system that puts people first."

He says the approach of Labour and National to free trade is the same.

"We have Phil Goff running around signing agreements with the Chinese Government that basically joins us to their economy.

The benefits of free trade will accumulate to the wealthy elite in China and New Zealand, while the downsides will be worn by those least able to afford it."

Mr Billot says those affected the most by free trade agreements were often workers, and unions should be more outspoken about the negative effects of free trade.

"People have not been informed about the long term implications of these free trade deals."

"International economic development and trade should be managed to ensure equality, democratic rights, low environmental impact and balanced development - not to further the domination of the global economy by private corporate interests."

ENDS

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