Tempers flare as China free trade deal debated

Radio New Zealand | 29 May 2008

Tempers flare as China free trade deal debated

Tempers became frayed on Thursday as Parliament’s foreign affairs, defence and trade committee heard submissions on New Zealand’s Free Trade Deal with China.

Though some supported the agreement, most appearing before the committee were against it, citing China’s human rights record or fears the deal will destroy manufacturing in New Zealand.

The owner of Hamilton-based Ulrich Aluminium, Gilbert Ulrich, raised concerns the agreement would further undermine manufacturing in this country.

Manufacturers Judith and Nelson Bell said there had not been any proper consultation and it was alarming that the deal would be approved by Parliament because the Government had support from the National Party.

Human rights groups argued that the deal would make human rights in China worse, not better.

keywords: