25 Nov 2010

Human rights impact from free trade will vary, says advisor

7:13 pm on 25 November 2010

The Pacific Chief Trade Advisor says the impact on human rights from free trade agreements will vary, depending on the economic environments of different countries.

The comment follows a United Nations-sponsored workshop in Suva that recommends assessments be carried out by an independent body before countries sign up to a deal such as Pacer plus.

Chris Noonan says a trade relationship is only one part of the economic policies or the economic mix in which a country's involved.

"And so the impact of a trade agreement often depends on a whole lot of other factors, how well the economy's going, particular export interests, other government policies in place. Unemployment benefits, public health, public education and so forth, to the extent that those are absent or not as developed in the Forum island countries a trade agreement could have somewhat different effects on different countries."

The Pacific Chief Trade Advisor, Chris Noonan.