INDEPENDENT NEWS

Is It In New Zealand’s Best Interests?

Published: Tue 12 Sep 2000 06:00 PM
TRADE AGREEMENT: IS IT IN NEW ZEALAND’S BEST INTERESTS?
The Rt Hon Winston Peters MP, said today that New Zealand First recognises that New Zealand must be a full participant in international trade, and that our future depends on our ability to rapidly expand our exports and increase our economic and employment opportunities. Bilateral trade agreements are a part of this reality.
Such agreements must pass some key tests relating to New Zealand’s best interests.
Such tests must include:
 Whether the agreement is consistent with rules relating to Foreign Investment being in New Zealand’s national interest. We do not believe that a $50m floor is consistent with New Zealand’s sovereign interests.
 Whether the health and rights of New Zealand consumers, employees, and businesses are properly protected
 Whether by this trade agreement we are prevented from enacting sound laws protecting consumers’ right to knowledge of genetically engineered or modified foods and products
 New Zealand’s right to enact appropriate laws ensuring that the manufacturers of GE and GM products are covered by the same laws that affect all other producers and manufacturers.
“New Zealand First is not prepared, as a matter of principle, to have an area of trade that allows the sale of foreign products exempt from negligence suits, or permit the sale of products that offend the principle that goods for sale must be “fit for the purpose for which they are sold” or that allows for the sale of products for which the manufacturer cannot obtain any insurability.
“Neither are we prepared to allow international arrangements between two countries that enables an outside entity, through the creation of a shelf company or other like means, to gain by such a device, the privileges and protections of this agreement.
“Neither is New Zealand First to allow international agreements which encourage a separatist approach to the people of New Zealand.
“For the aforementioned reasons New Zealand First is eager to study the provisions of the draft agreement to ensure that they comply with New Zealand’s long term economic and social interests,” said Mr Peters.
ENDS

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