New Zealand aid agency Oxfam is unconvinced by the European Union's claims that forming Economic Partnership Agreements, or EPAs, will be in the best interests of the Pacific nations who choose to sign up.
Following claims that the EU will withhold aid funding to those Pacific nations who refuse to be a party to an EPA, the EU issued a statement defending its position.
The EU spoke out on the proposed EPAs in an attempt to quash what it claims are misconceptions about forming EPAs with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
Oxfam Chief Executive Barry Coates is skeptical.
"The European Union is still using these levers in order to get these deals signed, threatening to drastically increase the tariff of tuna for example from PNG to the European Union. Proposing to put a tariff on sugar exports from Fiji, these from our perspective are really unfair tactics."