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Textile Union hails tariff freeze continuation
01
Oct '09
A Union which represents the textile, clothing and footwear sectors has welcomed the announcement made by the Government that, the freeze on unilateral tariff reductions will be continued by postponing the tariff review for another four years.

The National Distribution Union (NDU) has been lobbying since long against a move to cut import tariffs to zero percent. It was first proposed in 1996 to eliminate all textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) tariffs by 2006.

The Asia Pacific Economic Countries (APEC), which is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries, had set a goal that attempted to force a zero tariff regime on all developed countries in APEC, including New Zealand.

Robert Reid, General Secretary of NDU said, “Given that Thailand, China and ASEAN “free” trade agreements allow NZ to continue with tariffs on TCF imports until 2016, it is sensible that any unilateral elimination of tariffs by NZ does not occur before this date”.

“This will give companies 10 more years from 2006 to adjust to zero tariffs as first proposed by the National Party, but however, now, the tariff issue is now secondary to the exchange rate as the main destroyer of manufacturing jobs”, he added by saying.

“As long as there is a hostile monetary policy environment for manufacturing, including the high exchange rate we will continue to see contraction and job losses in the manufacturing sector, including the textile sector,” Robert Reid said.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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