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US free trade agreement a poisoned chalice for NZ

Campaign Against Foreign Control Of Aotearoa | Tuesday, 23 September 2008

US Free Trade Agreement A Poisoned Chalice For NZ

Chief Reporter

The proposed expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (NZ, Chile, Brunei, and Singapore, commonly known as the P4 Agreement) to include investment and financial services, and to add the US to its membership, was bad enough.

For a succinct, detailed critique of that original proposal, go to on the New Zealand Not For Sale Website.

But for this to suddenly morph into a fullblown Free Trade Agreement with the US is catastrophic for any remaining economic sovereignty that New Zealand has. We say this not because we are "anti-American". All such FTAs — such as with China, or the existing P4 partners, for instance — pose the same threat to a greater or lesser degree. And our opposition to them is not because of "xenophobia" but for well founded grounds that they simply enmesh NZ more and more tightly in a cobweb of transnational corporate control.

So it’s a recipe for disaster to enter into an FTA with the biggest economy in the world, headed by a Government that aggressively pushes the interests of American Big Business (there is a seamless flow between the US Government and US Big Business, as is evidenced by the current trillion dollar bailout of the mega-greedy financial sector, a textbook example of socialism for the rich).

A full blown US FTA will:

- Remove any remaining "restrictions" on foreign investment, as the US regards NZ’s (purely token) oversight regime as "discriminating" against US transnational corporations
- push up the price of medicines by potentially hundreds of millions of dollars a year by attacking Pharmac;
- make access to digital recordings more expensive, and copying more restricted;
- attack our GE controls and food labelling,
- weaken our controls on food imports where they might carry diseases.

Both Labour and National myopically see a US FTA as being the Holy Grail of their adherence to the cargo cult of "free trade". It’s actually a poisoned chalice and it will be New Zealand which will be poisoned by it.

 source: Scoop