Letter to the editor – How much will a ‘free’ trade deal with Sth Korea cost us?
from: Frank Macskasy <email@example.com>
to: NZ Herald <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date: Mon, Mar 23, 2015
subject: Letter to the editor
On 23 March, John Key and Tim Groser signed a “free” trade agreement with South Korea (before Key scooted back to New Zealand to prop up National’s lame-duck candidate in the Northland by-election).
Key tried his best to push for the benefits of the NZ-Korea FTA by claiming;
“At the moment, New Zealand exports into Korea attract $229 million a year in duties. Tariff reductions in the first year of the FTA alone will save an estimated $65 million.”
It may well “save” exporters $65 million in tariffs.
But how many jobs will it create?
Before New Zealand opened it’s borders to imports from low-wage economies, our unemployment was much lower. In 1981, the Five Yearly Census showed unemployment numbering at 60,258.
Thirtytwo years later, after trade liberalisation; abolition of tariffs; and other so-called “free” trade initiatives, the 2013 Census showed unemployment to number at 153,210 – two and a half times more than the early 1980s.
Perhaps it is just as well that we have cheap goods pouring in from China and elsewhere. We certainly have more unemployed to purchase them.
[Address and phone number supplied]
TV3 News: NZ signs Korea free trade agreement
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