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

Published: Fri 15 Nov 2002 03:29 PM
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."

Next in New Zealand politics

Expert Group Appointed To Lead New Zealand’s Future Health System
By: New Zealand Government
Kiwis Overseas Must Be Allowed To Vote Next Year
By: Green Party
Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
By: New Zealand Government
Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
By: New Zealand Government
Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
By: New Zealand Government
Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown
By: Child Poverty Action Group
Bay Of Plenty District Health Board Chair Sharon Shea Appointed Co-Chair Of The Māori Health Authority
By: Bay of Plenty District Health Board
Senior Doctors Call For Strong Clinical Voice To Lead Health Reforms
By: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists
NZMA Welcomes Health System Board Appointments
Improving The Safety And Capability Of Frontline Police
By: New Zealand Police
Increasing Dangers Of Current Policing Recognised - Police Association
By: NZ Police Association
Govt Finally Sees Sense On Armed Response Teams
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media