Korean Trade Deal Bill Progresses

Published: Thu 17 Sep 2015 04:58 PM
The second reading debate of the Tariff (Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea) Amendment Bill has been completed with NZ First and the Greens opposed.
Earlier in the debate Associate Trade Minister Todd McClay said the bill brought into force the trade deal with Korea which would bring significant gains for exporters due to the removal over time of tariffs on approximately 98 percent of New Zealand’s current exports to Korea.
Labour backed the bill with MPs saying the Government had almost got the deal right as it did provide benefits for exporters and the economy. The deal did not require any changes to legislation other than tariff law and the sovereignty of Parliament was not controlled.
Labour was not happy about the limitations the deal put on future Governments to change foreign investment rules applying to Korea, the Government had failed to negotiate to allow for the ban of house sales to foreigners and this would now flow through to all countries New Zealand had trade deals with such as China.
The Greens said they were opposed to the deal because it had unenforceable environmental and labour standards and because it encroached on Parliament’s sovereignty to implement some policy because of the dispute resolution clauses. NZ First also remained opposed for the same reasons as the Greens but also because they believed it was a poor deal.
The Bill completed its second reading by 95 to 24 with the Greens and NZ First opposed
MPs began the second reading of the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Amendment Bill
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