8 May 2017

Videos aim to promote trade to ordinary people

9:48 am on 8 May 2017

A series of videos has been launched to get more public backing for trade after thousands of people marched against the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership deal last year.

From the videos: Dairy Companies' of NZ Association chair Malcolm Bailey, Export NZ's Catherine Beard and Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett.

From the videos: Dairy Companies' of NZ Association chair Malcolm Bailey, Export NZ's Catherine Beard and Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett. Photo: Screenshots from TradeworksNZ videos

Trade group, International Business Forum, said it did not do a good job of selling trade to the public during the TPP debate and it wanted to persuade people that trade mattered to their lives.

The videos, by trade workers and exporters, some of whom are members of the forum's board, contained messages that trade brings money into families, underpins lifestyles, grows small businesses and offers exciting career opportunities.

The forum's chief executive, Stephen Jacobi, said the videos were aimed at making a better case for trade to ordinary people after the drawn-out TPP talks last year sparked marches and rallies around the country.

"We have been through a period with TPP that clearly showed that New Zealanders didn't necessarily take for granted the benefits that trade can bring.

"Secondly because there is, around the world, a new questioning of the benefits of globalisation and trade."

The forum had sent out the videos on its social media channels and the campaign had been stepped up at a crucial time, Mr Jacobi said.

"We have the potential that TPP amongst the 11 parties might still come into effect, we have a major negotiation developing with the European Union.

"From our perspective we want to make sure we have this discussion or engagement or conversation with New Zealanders before we get to the nitty-gritty about what trade agreements include and what they shouldn't," he said.

Anti-TPP campaigner Jen Olsen, who organised marches in Dunedin, said the videos were too simplistic and glossed over complex trade issues.

They would not stop people going out on the streets again to march against TPP, she said.

"The people who are more likely to protest the TPP, they will not lose their enthusiasm through these videos.

"But members of the public who are questioning that and wondering whether to vote National or not, possibly some of them may be influenced," Ms Olsen said.

TPP protesters

Thousands of people marched against the Trans Pacific Partnership deal last year. Photo: RNZ / Murielle Baker

Mr Jacobi said some people would never change their minds about trade liberalisation and globalisation but the videos would help others consider all aspects of the debate.

The forum planned to launch another video series later in the year featuring workers in trade-related firms.

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