TPP worries textile workers
Fri, 15 Jun 2012 5:28a.m.
By Peter Wilson, Political Writer
Textile workers are worried the Government will sign an international trade deal that will end its procurement policy of buying New Zealand-made goods.
Opposition parties are already protesting about the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and want negotiations put on hold, now the Clothing and Textile Workers Union is seeking assurances its members won't be compromised.
A leaked document appears to confirm states signing up to the TPP could be sued by foreign investors over unfavourable laws, which has Labour and the Greens up in arms.
They've been assured by Trade Minister Tim Groser he won't sign away New Zealand's sovereignty but they're still calling for confidential details of the negotiations to be made public.
The textile workers say the document also indicates the Government's procurement policy won't remain intact, although clauses covering that are still secret.
"Most other trading nations have strong government procurement requirements," union secretary Paul Watson said.
"The United States requires its soldiers to be kitted out in American-made uniforms and Australian infrastructure projects often have a minimum local content provision."
He says it would be "reprehensible" if the government signed a deal that doesn't support local jobs.
The TPP is an extension of a free trade agreement between New Zealand, Brunei, Chile and Singapore which has existed since 2006.
Countries negotiating to join it are Australia, Malaysia, Peru, Japan, the United States and Vietnam.
The next negotiating round starts in San Diego on July 2.
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15/07/2012 9:24:50 p.m.
Bruce Bevin wrote:
Has anyone ever wondered what happened to the wool socks without elastic top's that were manufactured in New Zealand? I suspect the company that made them went broke because all of the wool was exported oversea's! That's only about a year ago!
15/06/2012 3:04:59 p.m.
... pretty much ANY free trade deal undermines jobs. it's kinda the point. you can't have a free trade deal without causing some industries to collapse. not while you have a national currency, anyway. and if your currency is city-region based, there's no point in a 'deal' anyway. you just don't stick any roadblocks in the way.
that said, this is far from the only problem with the TPP. at Minimum the level of secrecy over the negotiation and refusal to involve the public (meanwhile, the US's side of it is basically being WRITTEN by the corporations, who's representatives get to see all the documentation etc and participate in the debate) should be sending up red flags all over the place: it would be Unnecessary for a Trade agreement if the entire thing were't going to be reprehensible to the general public.
I'd honestly be stunned if there were any true benefit that in any way justified the negatives of this agreement beyond National's apparent obsession with making us more like the USA, mostly by following in the footsteps of their screwups.
under US control (and it seems it basically is now, despite them being a late-commer) the TPP exists entirely to cram US IP laws down our throats (with a side effect of allowing them to force changes they could not Ever legally pass through their ow system otherwise under the guise of 'meeting international obligations') and giving their corporations more control and freedome in other countries at the expense of... everyone else.
15/06/2012 2:32:06 p.m.
What is it about this Government. First they want to sell our assets and now they want to sell our sovereignty? Is there nothing in this country that is beyond the clutches of the National Parties desire to sell us off for a fast buck because they don't have the brains to come up with alternatives.
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