Not one but two trade deals, the TPP and TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) are percolating over the holiday period. The TPP will allow corporates to set the rules for over 40% of world trade. TISA will break open financial and other services, even essential infrastructure and social services, to make it easier for corporates to come in and take control, profits, and our privacy off to whatever tax haven they are registered in. Continue reading
Free trade deals are poison. Ask El Salvador.
Oceania Gold, a New Zealand listed company, is suing the El Salvadorian government to tune of US$300 million in the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a tribunal linked with the World Bank, for lost profits. El Salvador, a water-impoverished nation, refuses to grant them water rights to their main river to use and contaminate with the likes of cyanide and arsenic as part of a gold mining operation they have planned. Continue reading
The free trade deal with South Korea is hardly earth shattering news. Yet it is being seriously hyped up by the government and those industries that might benefit eventually – the deal takes a full 15 years to take effect and doesn’t include some fairly big ticket items like frozen deer velvet.
Is this overexcitement a cynical PR stunt, an attempt to quell rising opposition to free trade deals? Certainly there were those who were displeased with the large turnouts to the nationwide day of action protesting the TransPacific Partnership ‘trade’ agreement. There is even talk now of big businesses launching a pro-TPP fighting fund. Continue reading
Would anyone vote for giant US tobacco corporation Philip Morris to run our country? Or chemical and agricultural biotech company Monsanto? Highly unlikely. We know that any big corporate is going to put increasing its profits far above the needs of New Zealand and New Zealanders.
But the TPP agreement, as it stands, could effectively put giant overseas corporations in charge of us all through the investor state dispute settlement clause. Continue reading
The Alliance Party wants to know why the government allowed our US Ambassador, Mike Moore, to host a Trans Pacific Partnership Governors and Ambassadors World Trade Reception on Friday night sponsored and attended by multinational corporate players. Continue reading
The Alliance Party has added its voice to the Maritime Union of New Zealand’s call for public support for Ports of Auckland workers to keep their jobs.
The Alliance Party says the closure of the Bruce Woollen Mill, formerly the Alliance Mill, is a sad day for Milton and Otago.
The Alliance Party says Friday 15 July is a shameful day for New Zealand, as a shipment of Chinese built railway wagons are unloaded in Tauranga, less than twenty four hours after it was announced over 40 wagon builders at Hillside workshops will be made redundant. Continue reading
The Alliance Party says today’s announcement of 41 job losses at Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops is the result of a “great betrayal” of New Zealand by John Key and his National Government.
Alliance Party spokesperson Trevor Hanson says the announcement of 41 job losses at Hillside was the direct responsibility of the Prime Minister and his policies.
National and Labour singing the same old economic song
Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday 29 July 2010 The Alliance Party says National and Labour are squabbling over meaningless details of economic policy while the gap between wage rates in New Zealand and Australia grows larger. Alliance Economic Development Spokesperson Quentin Findlay says the problem is that both parties are stuck with the same mindset. Mr Findlay says it was a painful experience listening to National’s Gerry Brownie and Labour’s David Parker arguing this morning on Radio New Zealand and compared the debate that they had to two cats fighting in a locked laundry – producing a lot of noise but not much sense. “Both National and Labour’s policies have been fixated on short term goals while ignoring long term goals that must be achieved by comprehensive planning.” Mr Findlay says New Zealanders should be asking what we want our economy to deliver and how our economy should be run to deliver those goals.
He says both National and Labour are still stuck with free market ideology, but the problem with this approach was that the free market had a short term focus.
Further, what was in the best interests of the free market was often not in the best interests of the majority of people, Mr Findlay says. “Over the past decades we have seen ongoing deregulation that is responsible for lowering wages and productivity in New Zealand.” Mr Findlay says changes such as the rewriting of the Reserve Bank Act in 1989 to remove the goal of full employment, the introduction of employment laws which ended awards and comprehensive Union representation, and free trade agreements which forced jobs offshore to countries where people were forced to work for very low wages and in poor conditions. “All of these policies have been implemented by either National or Labour.” Mr Findlay says the Alliance promotes a long term comprehensive economic plan for New Zealand and economic reforms that benefited the majority of New Zealanders. “The Alliance would place goals such as full employment and a high standard of living at the centre of New Zealand’s economic policy. To achieve those goals a comprehensive plan for economic development is required. This could be headed by an organization similar to the former New Zealand Planning Council.” The Alliance would restore award rates and labour regulations which are common in other developed countries and implement a sensible system of tariffs and licensing designed to stimulate ‘fair trade’. “Only through a planned and social economy can wage and salary rates be lifted to comparable levels to Australia and other Western nations,” Mr Findlay says.
ENDS For more information contact Alliance Economic Development Spokesperson Quentin Findlay on 021 326 443