23 Feb 2009

Free trade fears over jobs

7:11 am on 23 February 2009

Concerns are being expressed that a proposed free trade agreement with India could cost jobs.

Agreement was reached on Friday for negotiations on a deal to start in July.

New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser says the deal could be as big for exporters as last year's free trade agreement with China.

New Zealand exports there currently total $NZ366 million.

But Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says a deal would make it easier for companies to move jobs to India.

The Council of Trade Unions says it could lead to looser immigration rules, potentially flooding New Zealand with immigrants at a time of rising unemployment.