The Greens will strongly oppose the Singapore free trade agreement in Parliament today, with a speech from MP Keith Locke detailing consequences of such a deal.
“Rather than closing the gaps, this agreement will enrich the multinationals, and impoverish workers, both in this country and in Asia,” he said today.
Hardest hit in New Zealand will be Kiwi clothing and footwear workers, he said. Earlier this year the Government froze tariffs on these items, pendinga tariff review, but tariffs will reduce to zero in the case of Singapore.
“At zero tariff it’s near to impossible for a New Zealand clothing factory to compete with a Singapore-owned factory paying 50c an hour,” he said.
The agreement is also a Trojan horse for a wider free trade agreement with other Asian countries, which will put New Zealand’s economy and society in even more danger, he said.