TPPA should not cut off government options on jobsPublish By Tamika B. Lambert Updated 14/06/2012 12:43 pm in Opinion / no comments
Media release: FIRST Union
Thursday June 14, 2012
The government shouldn’t sign trade agreements that cut off New Zealand’s policy options to grow jobs for Kiwis, the clothing and textile workers’ union said today.
Leaks today from the draft Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement show New Zealand wants to sign a document that bans governments from implementing performance requirements on foreign investors or investments about use of locally produced goods or services.
Paul Watson, FIRST Union textiles secretary, said that this put at risk any future Buy Kiwi Made commitments government might want to ensure were in contracts.
“Most other trading nations have strong government procurement requirements. The United States requires its solders to be kitted out in American made uniforms and Australian infrastructure projects often have a minimum local content provision,” he said.
“New Zealand should follow suit, but signing up to agreements in secret that cut off policy options to support local jobs is reprehensible.”
“With increasing uncertainty facing our manufacturers and exporters, we need a government with an aggressive strategy for protecting and boosting local jobs.”
“Through their refusal to tackle our monetary policy settings, and now by further hurting their ability to protect local firms and workers, its clear we have a government that is putting the interests of overseas investors ahead of working families.”
Paul Watson said although the draft investor rights chapter had been leaked today, the government procurement chapter of the TPPA was still secret, and he called on Trade Minister Tim Groser to release this and other chapters for full public scrutiny.