Apr 17, 2008

Is FTA Policy A Factor In Fisher And Paykel Decision?

Phil Goff says no.

“I do not believe, however, that free trade agreements by New Zealand, such as that with China, are a key factor in the decision to relocate.
“Indeed, in discussions with the company in March last year, Fisher and Paykel management told us that the FTA with China ‘was not going to make any difference to Fisher and Paykel’s production and sourcing plans’.
“The free trade deal maintains trade remedies such as anti-dumping and includes a Rules of Origin approach based on a change of tariff classification as requested by Fisher and Paykel.
“The fact is that labour cost advantages in developing countries such as Mexico and Thailand will exist whether New Zealand seeks free trade agreements or not.
“And there is no future in New Zealand competing with the world by lowering wages and cutting workers’ conditions, just as there is no future in New Zealand in a globalised world putting up high tariff barriers at huge cost to the consumer.
“I welcome the fact that Fisher and Paykel are committed to continuing the high value add aspect of engineering and design work in New Zealand,” Mr Goff said.