PACIFIC URGED TO REJECT NZ-AUSTRALIAN TRADE AGREEMENT

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Anti globalization NGO criticizes PACER

By Jemima Garrett

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Mar 24, 2009) - A leading Pacific non-government organization says the island nations should reject PACER-plus - the proposed free trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand.

The Pacific Network on Globalisation says the island nations do not need to join the PACER-plus trade deal to get the benefits of the global economy.

Coordinator Maureen Penjueli says that despite assurances to the contrary from Australia’s Trade Minister Simon Crean Australia is still indulging in heavy-handedness in negotiations.

"Some of the key things that demonstrate there is a heavy- handedness includes the whole fast-tracking of PACER plus."

Ms. Penjueli says it is totally unacceptable to expect the Pacific to launch free trade negotiations this year.

She says the region needs the time and resources to get its position together before it deals with its two biggest partners.

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