GREENS AND UNIONS WRONG ON ‘BUY GLOBAL’: TRADE MINISTER

  • Dr Lockwood Smith
International Trade

An assertion by the Green Party and the Trade Union Federation that the National Party has endorsed a ‘Buy Global' campaign is totally baseless, according to Trade Minister Lockwood Smith.

Rod Donald recently launched a ‘Shop Local' campaign to counter what was reported as ‘National's new buy global campaign'. The Trade Union Federation has also referred to the alleged campaign in a media statement released today.

"Mr Donald and Ms Gay are either ill-informed or grandstanding, because there is no such campaign," Dr Smith said. The idea of a ‘Buy Global' campaign comes from a report titled Making Trade and Investment Liberalisation Relevant. The report was commissioned by all APEC member economies as part of a project to develop strategies to better communicate the impacts of trade liberalisation.

"The report constitutes a set of suggestions and ideas only - it is not a document which APEC members have endorsed for implementation, and the so-called ‘Buy Global' campaign was just one of several suggestions made within the report.

"Although the strategy is interesting, it is not a "new National policy", and it is not under consideration by the National-led Government. Mr Donald and Ms Gay should check their facts before referring to National Party policies that don't exist.

"But Mr Donald should not miss the fundamental point of the report, which is that there is a real need to make information about the impact of economic and trade liberalisation more accessible and relevant to people.
"Trade liberalisation has lifted millions of people out of poverty within our region, and while I fully support ‘Buy Domestic' campaigns, the Greens' policy of introducing new import tariffs would only harm New Zealand families," Dr Smith concluded.

"My sympathies go out to the workers, families and friends of those effected by Bendon's decision to close its operations in the Waikato, and it is regrettable that there is a very real human cost when the nature of work goes through periods of change.

"However, the Greens, along with Labour and the Alliance, do not have any meaningful answers for the people of Te Aroha. National has delivered an economy that delivers more and better jobs, retraining opportunities, and one-on-one case-management to assist beneficiaries to re-enter the workforce.

"The answer from the parties on the left is to clobber New Zealand's manufacturers and exporters with higher taxes, inflexible labour laws, the withdrawal of competition from workplace accident insurance and now the introduction of even higher taxes through import tariffs.

"These policies will raise the cost of everyday goods for New Zealand families, and do very real harm to those families that are least well off," Dr Smith concluded.