Wellington, September 11, 2017
Labour has questions to answer about its deliberately vague housing ban announcement which could rip up trade deals and cost thousands of jobs New Zealanders rely upon.
A ban would cut across a range of existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) we have with countries like Singapore, Australia and Korea and cause considerable difficulty with China.
These FTAs have non-discrimination provisions that ensure New Zealanders are treated fairly overseas, and in return that our trade partners are treated fairly in New Zealand.
I am sure that there are many inconsistencies in what Labour is proposing, but they have provided zero detail – so it is impossible to tell.
Labour owes New Zealanders the respect and courtesy to provide details on this announcement, which could put trade jobs at risk.
The jobs of 620,000 Kiwis rely on having competitive access to overseas markets.
A ban would force New Zealand to renegotiate many of our trade agreements. We would be likely to lose some trade access as a result of renegotiations which would harm New Zealand companies and Kiwi jobs.
As usual there is no detail from Labour. New Zealanders need to know what they are being asked to vote.
Todd McClay is Trade Minister of New Zealand.