Chinese free trade deal will cost human rights and environment
from Green Weekly 16 April 2004 Like a free lunch with Roger Douglas, there is no such thing as ‘free trade’ with China. “Business will go out of business, workers will be put out of work and Labour will lose the support of labour,” said Rod Donald. China’s labour standards make Dickensian sweatshops look enlightened with the number of work related deaths per year equivalent to the population of Greater Wellington. The list of human rights violations are long and include; exporting goods made by bonded and prison labour; prohibiting strikes; repressing attempts to organise unions apart from one government controlled entity; and not ratifying international conventions eliminating forced labour and guaranteeing workers the right to organise. “Free trade means we’ll be forced into a ‘race to the bottom’, as our own labour and environmental standards will be compromised, and our trade deficit with China will balloon past the present $1.3 billion,” said Rod.