A lobby group concerned about a major trade deal New Zealand signed this evening says the COVID-19 pandemic provides a strong reason why such agreements should be ditched.
Why? On second thoughts, I don’t want to know. The “lobby group” is no doubt the usual collection of Marxists who just hate trade.
Leaders from all 15 countries watched via video as Ministers signed the deal: from Auckland, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor signed for New Zealand.
Speaking afterwards, he told reporters it would bring security and certainty to exporters.
One of the aims in coming years is to progressively lower tariffs across many areas.
The RCEP itself doesn’t appear to lower a single tariff. It reduces some non-tariffs barriers and may lead to lower tariffs, but by itself it doesn’t do that much. Still a worthwhile step in the right direction.
But Edward Miller, from It’s Our Future, fears New Zealanders won’t benefit.
“We’re seeing a huge secret agreement being negotiated where we don’t know what the risks are and from the economic modelling that we’ve seen there’s very little economic benefit to be gained.
“So we don’t know why the government continues to do secret deals that are against our national interests.”
Miller said there had been no effective public consultation over the deal, some parts of which attack New Zealand’s national interests.
You notice Miller provides no details. He just recites cliches.
Miller said It’s Our Future would keep pushing the government to pull out of international trade deals.
Their actual agenda – no trade deals at all. Never mind that freer trade has pulled several hundred million people out of extreme poverty. They’re still against.