I released our Trade policy this evening, as promised. Trade is a bipartisan issue because both National and Labour recognise that we are too small and our electoral cycle is too short to risk our exporters’ efforts and foreign direct investment in our industries, by potentially pulling the policy rug out from under them every three years. So we both promote New Zealand’s trading interests overseas equally.
So it will come as no surprise that we wish to build on the international market access we have gained in recent years, particularly in Asia after the successful FTA with China, signed by Phil Goff.
Labour will support the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations as they proceed but Pharmac remains a bottom line for us. It works for the public good of New Zealanders and should not be compromised, despite pressure from large multinational pharmaceutical companies.
We need more openness and better engagement of civil society in our trade relationships, and so we will establish a Trade Advisory Commission to give contestable advice to the Minister about trade relationships. This Commission would comprise union, business, exporter, academic and NGO interests.
Where we differ from the National Party however in the Trade area is in the fundamentals of monetary policy which underpins the environment in which our struggling exporters work. We will alter monetary policy by introducing a Capital Gains Tax which will moderate interest rates, which will in turn take pressure off the exchange rate. We will broaden the Reserve Bank’s objectives to include employment and the health of the export sector amongst other things in its brief. We will put an exporter on the Board of the Reserve Bank to represent their interests.
And more besides……to see the whole policy, go here.